Planting Trees Against Climate Change
By Ryan Blumton
Founder of Climate and Life, Seloilwe Seloilwe has kick started an initiative to plant 200 trees in schools around Maun to commemorate National Tree Planting Day, hosted by the North West district under the theme ‘Forest Restoration: a path to recovery and well being.’
Seloilwe is an accredited trainer in youth participation and an avid climate change activist.
Climate and Life is a youth owned green enterprise that raises awareness about environmental opportunities and risks, and lobbies and influences policies for sustainable energy and climate friendly economies.
This initiative gives the youth a platform to participate and influence others to be involved in environmental issues. Tree planting will be conducted throughout September in Maun and in the surrounding areas tree planting will take place in October and November.
The main event will take place at Khoemacau mine in Toteng on the 28th November 2020.
“I was inspired to engage in tree planting because of the Youth Against Global Warming Week initiative I proposed earlier in the year. Tree planting was one of the activities we would have done, to be executed by the last week of June but we were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Seloilwe said.
The initiative is done in partnership with the Department of Forestry and Range Resources, which will be providing the technical advice and 200 seedlings of the Diospyros mespiliformis, which is the tree of the year for this year’s National Tree Planting Day.
The tree is an evergreen tree found mostly in Africa’s savannas. This tree is known as African ebony and Jackalbessie in Afrikaans. Planting these trees is intended to combat climate change.
“We are partnered with Maun technical college environmental club, which consists of youth including the coordinators of the club. We are in talks with the Maun technical college to sign a memorandum of understanding that will outline how we are going to work together to bring this project to fruition. We are in the process of finalizing memorandums of understanding with other stakeholders in Botswana.”
Seloilwe and his organization are supported by Botswana’s main climate change response organization, which is the Department of Meteorological services.
“Climate change denial is a problem, we need more education when it comes to the topic of climate change. For some it is not that they do not believe this problem is real, but they are instead worried that some of the policies to mitigate climate change may hurt business. Some capitalists are more concerned with profits than climate change affecting future generations. The problem persists because business interests take precedence over protecting the planet,” Seloilwe reiterated.
Regarding the problem of water scarcity Seloilwe proposed a legislative solution.
“Right now I have written a letter to our Member of Parliament Dumelang Saleshando urging that we need to plant more trees, yet while we are planting these trees the problem is lack of water as Botswana is an arid country. So I have requested Saleshando to put forth a motion in parliament to subsidize Batswana who purchase water tanks so that more Batswana can own these tanks in order to harvest rainwater.,” he said.