Tree Talk| 5 min read

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Our Newest Planting Site

Learn about the challenges facing our planting partners in Tanzania and how you can make a difference with our new Eco Facts Collection.

You’re making an impact every time you pull on a piece from our new Eco Facts Collection (just check the label). Just like the nutrition labels you’ll find in your kitchen cupboard, The Eco Facts Collection gives you all the information you need to know you’re wearing an outfit that’s creating positive change for the planet. From the collection’s earth-friendly fibres, to the real impact you’re helping create by planting trees — all the ecofacts are there.

 

tentree planting site

Featured: Men’s Eco Facts T-Shirt and Women’s Eco Facts T-Shirt

 

Each piece you buy plants ten trees that help protect ecosystems and provide for the communities at our newest planting sites on Mount Kilimanjaro. Learn about the challenges these communities face and the impact you’re creating for both planet and people when you invest in sustainable pieces from the Eco Facts Collection.

 

Planting Site Basics

Planting Site: Mount Kilimanjaro
Country: Tanzania
Site Status: Active
Forest Type: ​​Agroforest
Planting Partner: Plant With Purpose

 

Where Are We Planting?

You can find our newest planting sites on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain at over 19 000 feet, and is the highest point on the African Continent. Its sloped glaciers have gained attention in recent years as they’ve begun to recede at an alarming rate. Warmer, drier atmospheric conditions created by climate change have led to the glaciers drying out or ‘sublimating’ (solid ice evaporating straight to gas).

 

mount kilimanjaro

 

Deforestation along the mountain’s slopes and valleys has only further accelerated the glacier’s declining condition. Forests are often cleared for farms, and cutting down trees provides a quick source of income for those living in poverty. But communities regularly experience alternating flooding and water shortages due to this deforestation. These extreme conditions lead to washed-out, infertile soil, and when farms stop producing, many people are forced to leave their ancestral lands.

 

What Trees Are We Planting?

The trees planted at our sites in Tanzania are part of an agroforestry system. This system combines farming with tree planting on the same land to create environmental, economic, and social benefits for the community. Our planting partners harvest seeds from native trees, nurture them into saplings at local nurseries, and eventually plant them. These native tree species work in harmony with farmers’ bio-intensive gardens to help create more nutrient-rich soil. As the land around Mt. Kilimanjaro regenerates, crop yields increase, and farmers are able to feed their families and sell extra produce for income.

 

tentree planting site

Image sourced from our planting partner, Plant With Purpose.

 

Who’s Planting With Us?

We’ve partnered with Plant with Purpose to create these sustainable agriculture systems in Tanzania. Plant with Purpose strives to empower local farmers to create their own change by providing knowledge and opportunity, rather than material handouts. Landowners take ownership of planting initiatives, which helps reforestation efforts have greater longevity and success over time. Through friendly competition at the sites in Tanzania, planters work to support their community and celebrate their efforts at an annual awards ceremony.

 

tentree planting site

Image sourced from our planting partner, Plant With Purpose.

 

​​The majority of farmers we work with in Tanzania are women, many of whom are widows or single mothers. Women and children are among the poorest of the poor in this area, and women head 25% of households. Almost all economically active women in Tanzania earn their income through agriculture, but they do not have the same access to training and resources as male farmers. Rural microfinance initiatives are put into place to help economically empower the women in these communities. Savings groups give families access to a financial safety net, enabling them to take on larger costs and the opportunity for future financial growth.

 

What’s The Impact?

By planting in critical watersheds around Mt. Kilimanjaro, we’re able to restore habitat for critically endangered species, protect essential water sources, and improve farmers’ livelihoods. The trees incorporated into farming plots through agroforestry help restore the soil quality, reduce erosion, diversify harvests, and increase productivity. At the same time, trees planted along the mountain’s vulnerable slopes work to prevent deadly mudslides and floods. Protected by the forests, farmers are able to nurture their ancestral land and see it flourish again.

 

tentree planting site

Image sourced from our planting partner, Plant With Purpose.

 

Environmental:

  • Stabilize land and protect against erosion, landslides, and desertification.
  • Regenerate soils and restore land fertility.
  • Recharge groundwater tables.
  • Prevent further deforestation and degradation by providing sustaining work for locals.
  • Sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change.

Social:

  • Provide food security to families through dependable, diverse diets.
  • Empower the local community in the restoration and protection of their community land.
  • Educate adults and children in rural communities.
    • This program brings much-needed training, tools, and resources to educate adults on sustainable agriculture, as well as financial planning, business accounting, and entrepreneurship.
  • Alleviate poverty within communities.
    • Providing economic resources like microfinance options for saving and borrowing so families can invest in the future and upgrade their quality of living.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Planting in this site brings us closer to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals that are a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”

Here are the SDGs that we’re addressing in our Mount Kilimanjaro site:

#1 No Poverty: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

#2 Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

#3 Good health and Well-being: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.

#4 Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

#5 Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

#12 Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

# 13 Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy.

#15 Life on Land: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

 

Keep Reading: Greenwashing: What It Is and How to Avoid It

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