The world is our business and we love Africa. We love its wild nature, its diverse wildlife and its many exciting cultures.
It is therefore only natural for us to work to preserve and improve the conditions on the continent that gives us and our customers so many wonderful experiences.
Throughout Africa, we support and work with various organisations that strive in one way or another to improve environmental conditions, biodiversity, living conditions, economy, working conditions in local areas, etc. In South Africa, for example, we have helped start an orphanage, and in Tanzania, we have helped build schools.
You don’t have to do anything – and your tour isn’t more expensive because we plant trees or build schools either. We cover the costs because we believe it benefits some of the world’s poorest countries. We believe that travel basically contributes to a better world, both for those who return home many wonderful experiences the richer and for those who make a living from the guests. We believe that our – and your – presence makes a difference to the local environment. We therefore actively choose to do our bit to make a positive contribution.
The forest reforestation project in Zambia not only benefits our common climate, but it also makes a difference to the biodiversity of the area, creates jobs for the local population and thus benefits the local economy.
The project is primarily aimed at reestablishing areas of miombo forest, which is a genus of trees typical of the entire sub-Saharan area – i.e. the countries we sell tours to. Part of the sub-species of miombo is fruit-bearing trees.
The trees are planted in the Luanshya district of the Copperbelt Province in Zambia. It is one of Zambia’s most populated areas and the deforestation here is massive.
The province is named after the many copper mines in the area. Privatisation and closure of the mines have led to high unemployment and forced the population into charcoal production instead, which has increased the pressure on the climate.
Through the project, local farmers are trained to plant and care for the trees, and they learn about alternative ways to make a living. More than 900 local farmers are already involved in the project. A number of women have, for example, been trained in how to start and run their own nursery, from which they can sell the fruit trees to other families, who in turn can sell the fruit. Other families are involved in honey production and learn, for example, how to harvest honey without damaging the trees, process it and sell it on.
Miombo trees can be planted all year round. They are very suitable for the sub-Saharan climate as they store water and can survive the periods of drought. They provide food for animals and humans alike, they play a major role in combating erosion, they are important for honey production, which benefits the local economy, they help preserve biodiversity in the area – and they absorb CO2.
We know that one tree does not make a big difference, so we started by planting 65,000 trees in Zambia. We expect to plant another 120,000 trees in Zambia by 2022.
In this one forest restoration project alone, around 2,000 hectares of forest have been restored and more than 2.5 million trees have been planted in total. The areas where the trees are planted are constantly monitored to ensure that trees that die are replaced. The Global Climate Institute and WeForest also work with universities and research institutions to ensure that they are up to date on the latest research and can adapt the projects if deemed necessary.