National Arbor Week launch
People from various communities around the Greater Tzaneen Municipality flocked to the Nkowankowa Stadium on 1 September to celebrate the launch of National Arbor Week. The event was hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in partnership with the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Working on Fire and Total South Africa.
The Arbor Week launch was used to showcase an agro-forestry project, the NT L Baraka Eco-Farming and Tourism Project, that the provincial department supports in the Letsitele area, located about 54km from Tzaneen. The project aims to show the importance of forests in addressing food security, multiple land use approaches and the potential of forests to stimulate rural economies.
National Arbor Week is celebrated annually in the first week of September and is a joint national and provincial effort to advocate the importance of trees in communities and encourage awareness of the need to protect indigenous trees and forests. This year’s theme is ‘Forests and Water’.
Working on Fire participants formed a guard of honour when Minister Senzeni Zokwana and his entourage arrived at the stadium. The team also opened the event officially by singing the national anthem.
During his speech Minister Zokwana highlighted the importance of trees in our lives and particularly the important role the WOF participants play in protecting the environment and preserving forests. Minister Zokwana thanked and praised WOF participants for the vital role that they play in protecting our trees.
“Promoting tree planting is essential, especially trees that save water,” the Minister said.
He announced the “One tree, One child” project, which focuses on the greening of schools through the planting of more trees. The Sekororo and Mogalakwena Teams have taken the minister’s message to heart and adopted the schools in their areas. Aside from educating the learners about the importance of trees, they have also to date planted a total of 12 trees in schools.