greenpopTrees for Zambia: The Project

Reliance and Greenpop have returned to Livingstone for the third annual Trees for Zambia Festival of Action: an exciting reforestation and eco-education festival of action at the mighty Victoria Falls! Just like in previous years, Greenpop will be planting thousands of trees over the next three weeks in sites in need all over Livingstone, Zambia, in an effort to fight the drastic deforestation experienced in the region. Reliance Compost is proud to be both a long-termpartner of Greenpop and a supporter of the project, co-sponsoring the vehicles used to transport volunteers to and from the project and from site to site in Zambia, as well as sending several team members to assist on the project. Finally, Reliance Compost provided two tickets (with flights) to two competition winners, who are serving as ambassadors on the project in addition to planting trees!

Each year, people come from all over the world to Livingstone for one, two or three weeks to plant trees, educate children, learn about environmental issues through a range of lectures and workshops, enjoy brilliant live music, and explore a beautiful corner of Africa at the mighty Victoria Falls!

Trees for Zambia 2013: The Numbers

At last year’s project, Greenpop planted 3358 trees over a 21-day period. Over the course of the project, 16 schools, 1 women’s group, 1 church, and 1 community farm participated in our tree-planting projects. A few projects of note included our plant day at Livingfalls Bioplant, where we planted 1000 banana trees (which are now over two metres tall!), our reforestation project at Dambwa Forest where weplanted 1064 indigenous trees over the course of Trees for Zambia, and our work with the community farm Sons of Thunder, where we planted over 600 fruit and indigenous trees, and to which we’ll be returning this year to continue working on a food forest (see below). Lastly, Greenpop volunteers and staff produced 20 solar cookers and ran 2 eco-workshops, ensuring the long-term sustainability of alternative energy initiatives in the region.

Additionally, Greenpop has, for three years running, organised a fundraising programme called Trees for Fees, where volunteers can earn free weeks on the project by fundraising trees to be planted in Zambia. This year, Greenpop reignited its Trees for Fees programme, and together the participants raised 3205 trees – equivalent to 145 weeks in Zambia earned through fundraising. Tree-mendous!

Trees for Zambia 2014: What’s Next?

With its third annual Trees for Zambia Festival of Action, Greenpop aims to continue to expand and evolve the project. First of all, Greenpop will build on tree-planting efforts in the region by planting a projected 4000 to 5000 additional indigenous and fruit trees in Livingstone over the course of the 3-week project. Furthermore, Greenpop will continue to highlight alternative, energy-efficient solutions to make the project effective over the long term as well as the short term – for example, introducing rocket stoves as alternative cooking mechanisms that use far less of the charcoal that serves as one of the leading causes of deforestation in the region. In the same vein, Greenpop supplements all of its urban greening and reforestation projects in Livingstone with education, to ensure that the communities where trees are planted can continue to share and build upon the knowledge learned and trees planted over the course of the project. Finally, in an effort to increase the participatory element of the project and integrate the various fields of sustainability involved, Greenpop is launching the first-ever Participation Project Programme: a programme designed to let all who possess expertise in any field relevant to sustainability to share their knowledge with the project at large through workshops and presentations.

This year, Greenpop is planting indigenous and fruit at 12 schools, 1 hospital, 1 prison, 1 police station, 2 churches, 3 community farms, a biogas digester site and the Victoria Falls. In addition, the community will create permaculture gardens, food forests, eco-brick benches, rocket stoves and more, including painting environmentally themed murals at a school through a facilitated workshop created by the children.

The Participation Project Programme:

“Know Your Trees”:  An initiative of Meg Coates Palgrave (co-authorof Trees of Southern Africa), this project aims to educate participants on how to identify indigenous trees in the field through labels highlighted in her book Key to Some Trees of Victoria Falls and Livingstone. The user-friendly key created by Meg is a fun way for people to identify trees in the area. The course allows people to open up to a whole new world of being able to identify indigenous trees and continue to do so after the course is over.
“ColourIkamva”: Ricky Lee Gordon and Megan King are leading this venture, which uses energy and art to add inspiration and love to education. Their goal is to instill a sense of pride and self-awareness in students bydrawing upon their own creative power and expression while stimulating learners and educators by transforming the school space into positive, nurturing environment. The project is inspired by the life-changing work of IkamvaYouth, an after-school tutoring and mentoring programme that helps students lift themselves and each other out of poverty and into university and employmentopportunities. ColourIkamva is also an officially recognized project of World Design Capital Cape Town.

“Eco-Brick”: This project uses earth and eco bricks – plastic bottles stuffed with non-recyclable materials – to demonstrate how to utilise waste and traditional cob methods to create much needed structures. The team will be designing and building a few static benches with the Livingstone community to show how easy and affordable building can be as well as showing the value of goods normally cast aside as waste.

“Permaculture Adventure”: This project takes participants on a journey into the wonderful world of permaculture by teaching people how to make self-sufficient gardens and enjoy the many benefits of organic food. Groupsinvolved in the project will practice recycling by creating container gardens and learn about planting seasons, types of soil, and how to compost. As participants dig deep and get their hands dirty, they will develop an understanding about the different layers of the ecosystem, differences between organic and inorganic, and also the benefits of medicinal plants. The goal of this project is to change the culture of food consumption by showing people how they can get active and be their own producers.

“Sons of Thunder Food Forest”: The project will begin by discussing design considerations and the theory behind food forests, and be followed by practical layout, landscaping to prevent erosion and improve water infiltration, and the planting of various layers of plants from groundcover to trees. By stackingplants in functional layers, the project will maximize production per unit area while maintaining the ecosystem advantages of natural forests such as resilience, functional interconnection, and self-renewing fertility. The result is a system that is self-fertilizing, self-maintaining, diverse, highly productive and resilient.

earthfestEarth Fest: The Celebration: Greenpop recognises the incredible efforts and hard work of everyone who volunteers on the project – planting trees is not easy! Therefore, in true Greenpop style, Greenpop ends each week with a concert featuring local live musicians. Additionally, Greenpop is proud to announcethat for the second year running, Earth Fest will return on the second weekend of the project! From 27-28 June, Greenpop will host Earth Fest: A music and sustainability festival that aims to bring the finest artists from around southern Africa to perform in Livingstone – in the shadow of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Victoria Falls. Greenpop invites all who can to party for trees supporting Greenpop as they go on their mission to plant 4000 trees in their “Trees for Zambia” project. Featuring a selection of local and international artists including DJ Claudous, Yes Rasta, Chikenbus Band, and Grassy Spark, this event is not to be missed. Additionally, Greenpop is excited to announce that director and rising global star Jeremy Loops will be popping into the project to play a few songs! MORE HERE

Reliance Compost –

Earth Fest Africa Facebook Page –

Earth Fest 2014 Facebook Event –