METGE marks 15 million milestone of trees distributed

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A recap of photos showing planting of trees in different areas.

15 million trees have been planted in Uganda as part of a Welsh Government initiative to help tackle the climate emergency, with ambitions to plant 25 million trees by 2025.

The Mbale Trees project - funded by the long-standing Wales and Africa programme - aims to plant over 3 million trees a year in the hilly, heavily deforested area of Mount Elgon sub-region in eastern Uganda in a bid to increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Working with Size of Wales and the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE), free tree seedlings are raised and distributed to local people to be planted on smallholdings and land in the community, along with fuel-efficient stoves advice and support for other livelihoods like bee-keeping.

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Mr Davis Manana director Bungokho Rural Development Centre (BRDC), one of our implementing partners plants during one of the distribution campaigns.

The project links with the Welsh Government’s Plant! Scheme, planting two trees for every child born or adopted in Wales – one planted in Uganda and anothers planted in Wales.

 

In recent years, the Mount Elgon sub-region in greater Mbale has been affected by heavy rainfall and fatal landslides, caused by a combination of climate change and excessive logging due to poor enforcement of protection laws and a growing population.

 

Fast-growing trees protect local people from the effects of soil erosion and fruit grown offers a sustainable source of food and an extra income.

The 10 millionth tree milestone was achieved in autumn 2019, with First Minister Mark Drakeford marking the occasion by planting a tree in Cardiff’s Bute Park as another was planted Uganda by a young climate change activist.

Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, whose portfolio includes Wales and Africa, said:

For more than a decade Wales has developed and deepened its community-based links with sub-Saharan countries in Africa. This mutually-beneficial approach has long supported sustainable development and solidarity; of which we can be justifiably proud.