Trees for Africa
Trees for Africa (TFA) is the only national greening organization in the Republic of South Africa that facilitates community owned projects.
Funds are raised from corporations, funding organizations and citizens to assist in the improvement of the quality of life in the townships, curb soil erosion in rural areas, and create environmental awareness. Since its formation, TFA has planted almost a quarter of a million trees at 1,000 events throughout the country.
TFA promotes education, training and youth development through educational workshops and tree planting projects. TFA continues to expand its activities and receives numerous requests daily for assistance from community groups throughout southern Africa. Although it is strong on grassroots involvement, TFA would not survive without the generous support of sponsors. Corporations, small businesses and individuals have given money, goods and expertise that have been pivotal in its work.
According to the Department of Environment Affairs, eight million tons of fuelwood will be consumed annually in the Republic South Africa by the year 2000. Thirty per cent of the population relies on fuelwood as the main source of energy and growing trees for fuel is desperately needed to take the pressure off indigenous trees.
Yokkaichi City and Mayor Kanshi Kato
Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture was once notorious for its smog. Throughout the 1960s and the early 1970s, the City was badly polluted by sulfur dioxide from its huge oil and petrochemical manufacturing complex.
In 1976, the City achieved the clean-air requirements on sulfur dioxide and by 1987, it was clean enough to be designated by the Environment Agency as a City where "the starry heavens could be seen". After arduous technological and administrative battles, the Yokkaichi Pollution Control Board was able to implement a successful pollution control project integrating environment and development.
Yokkaichi transferred its know-how to other cities with similar needs. In 1990, it became the host of the International Centre for Environmental Technology Transfer - which reaches out to developing nations and trained 345 overseas experts from 26 countries.
Yokkaichi City pioneered public medical care programmes to assist patients with pollution-related respiratory diseases, an initiative which led to the enactment of the 1973 Pollution Related Compensation Law. Two green buffer zones have been developed and 340 billion Yen have been spent on environmentally sound measures.
Yokkaichi City and Mayor Kanshi Kato
Association for the Protection of the Environment
The Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE) is a non-profit organization which emphasizes conservation through recycling and believes in providing the poor (especially vulnerable women's groups) with opportunities for self-advancement.
The main activity of the APE is a compost plant which collects animal manure and organic material from garbage dumps and turns it into commercially viable fertilizers, some of which is used in reclaiming Eygpt's desert land. The secondary, but rapidly expanding activity is the making of handicrafts such as rugs, bags and pillows from recycled rags.
The workers come from Mokattam Village and are young girls and women who collect garbage for a living. Due to training in the use of hand looms they are able to earn their livelihood with dignity and pride. Literacy is encouraged and cost-free classes are available on the Association's premises.
Both projects are income-generating and due to the supportive framework of the APE, the Mokattam Village women have learned to find joy and laughter within the existing context of their lives as garbage collectors.
Green Machine Nature Conservation Club
The achievements of the Green Machine Nature Conservation Nature Club run by the Sunridge Primary School have to be seen in the light of the fact that it is managed by students belonging to one of the most under-privileged sections of the Republic of South Africa's society. Greening of the environment has gone along with efforts to improve the living conditions of the people. The first project aimed at uplifting the impoverished and informal settlements in and around the Knysna district. The Club organized workshops for the youth addicted to narcotics as well as soup kitchens for the hungry. Since the informal settlement is situated around a dumping site, a system was set in motion to exchange food packets for recyclable materials. This not only helped clean up the area, but also assisted the community in supplementing its income. For the second project, the Club created an indigenous park in the grounds of the school. As part of the project, the Club supplied trees to other schools in the area and helped another create its own indigenous park. Their third project was a campaign against waste, encouraging recycling. This was run concurrently with a campaign to enhance environmental awareness. Waste paper recycling bins were taken to businesses in the district and companies were asked to sign a pledge to recycle office waste paper.
Second Creek Environment Project
A few years ago, a squatter camp in East London was just another casualty of burgeoning political strife and unemployment in South Africa. It was a crude configuration of shacks amidst a wasteland of broken bottles barely distinguished from the adjoining municipal rubbish dump. Today, this settlement is ship-shape. The shacks are immaculately painted. The grounds are spotless and a vegetable ground dominates the area. This transformation is largely due to the work of children, specifically pupils of John Bisseker Secondary School. This is their biggest success story.
The school has been involved since 1991 in the Second Creek Environment Project. Starting with a small group of only 15, the project has now grown to encompass a human settlement of nearly 1,000 people. The Project's areas of involvement include monitoring the condition of the Second Creek river, regular clean-up campaigns, sorting of garbage for recycling, planting of trees and halting soil erosion. The group also assists the squatter community with food, conducts first aid courses and holds regular "enviro-clinics" to educate parents and children on environmental matters.
This project has inspired many individuals and organizations, both locally and further afield, to become involved in enhancing their environment. The squatter community has also benefited greatly from this association. The project won the Department of Education and Culture Environment Competition in 1991 and 1992.
Young Pioneers Environmental Monitoring Station of Daxinglu Primary School
In May 1990, the first Young Pioneers Environmental Monitoring Station was established at Daxinglu Primary School. Each week, the fifth grade students carry out investigations on acid rain, air, dust and noise pollution. The results of their findings are put to use based on information obtained on the noise and dust pollution near their school. They recommended that a three-dimensional afforestation plan be implemented and botanical gardens be planted to improve the school's environment. All the students are given basic environmental education. The school offers scientific courses and integrates environmental education with other subjects taught in the curriculum. The work they do is not merely self-serving. They take it upon themselves to voluntarily instruct local farmers on the importance of conserving trees as well as sustainable farming practices. They look after the school's flora and often leave campus to visit the neighbourhood inhabitants asking them to care for their environment. Through their surveys, sample collections and detecting, they are able to write up articles which meet the local need for information.
Earth Love Fund
Earth Love Fund is a non-profit organization founded by three individuals from the music business who put aside their commercial ventures to raise money for conservation projects in rainforest regions. The Fund's first album was the official album for the Earth Summit and raised half a million pounds which have supported more than 40 projects around the globe - particularly in developing countries. To compile this record, the Fund persuaded some of the world's leading musicians, including Paul McCartney, U2, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Dire Straits to donate tracks on a non-profit basis. In 1995, Earth Rise II was released and received major media coverage in Europe. The link with popular music gives the Fund an opportunity to promote the environmental message to a wide audience which is one of its primary objectives. Activities supported include: extraction of samples of essential oils in the Alto Jura region of Brazil to seek sustainable economic activity for rainforest areas; purchase of seedlings for the Green Belt Movement in Kenya; education in a local community of Cameroon on management of resources in a sustainable manner; establishment of a rainforest medicine project in Peru; creation of an eco-forestry training support programme in Papua New Guinea; development of a project to protect the Dong Nah Tom Forest in Thailand; preservation of traditional crop varieties in Nepal; establishment of an indigenous peoples' environmental resource centre in Irian Jaya; and research into Amerindian agriculture in Guyana.
Garanti Bank T.A.S.
Garanti Bank is committed to conserving Turkey's natural assets. The Bank has made nature conservation the central theme of its public relations programme. Wall calendars promote awareness of issues such as animal populations and flora and fauna, while their advertising campaigns highlight endangered species. Recycled paper is used whenever possible for the Bank's publications. Clean air, greenery and open space are the thematic messages of its branches, whose architectural design reflect a green environment in the form of an oasis. In-branch parks serve as waiting areas, while ionizers purify the atmosphere. The Bank has been the primary sponsor of The Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD) since 1992. One of several projects is the Bird Sanctuary project which seeks to protect wetlands and other bird sanctuaries throughout Turkey. Some 450 species of birds are found in the country, including 12 internationally-recognized threatened species. In addition, Turkey harbors living and breeding grounds for sea creatures, most notably sea turtles. Garanti Bank sponsors programmes which protect the nesting areas of these creatures. Turkey possesses some of the most diverse flora in Europe, with more than 9,000 plant species - one third of them unique to the country. The Bank assists in the protection of this natural wealth by funding several projects managed jointly by DHKD and The Fauna and Flora Preservation Society. Thanks to these efforts, Garanti Bank has given Turkey's wildlife and habitats a chance to survive.
Environment 2000 Foundation
Environment 2000 (E2000), is a non-profit organization staffed by young Zimbabweans, whose aim is to: stimulate environmental awareness and action; uplift socio-economic sustainability and the well-being of the community; and protect the environment.
Aware of the need to work with the corporate sector to reduce environmental degradation, in 1992, E2000 established the Environmental Labelling Programme (ELP). ELP has received a favourable response from industry which is trying to become greener by requesting to have their operations audited before being awarded the blue or green logos stamp of approval. ELP also makes consumers aware of companies whose products and services are environmentally friendly and encourages them to avoid buying products and services which are not.
In line with its goal to spread environmental education, E2000 established clubs in schools, throughout the country, to educate young people about the economic, cultural and aesthetic value of natural resources and helps them develop a better understanding of nature conservation. E2000 provides information through its quarterly magazine "Green-line". Environmental debates, public speaking, camps, field trips, tree plantings and essay competitions are among other activities which E2000 Clubs undertake. Its Information Service engages in comprehensive research in rural and urban areas in order to expose negative environmental activities.
Nergis Yazgan is a leading nature conservation figure in Turkey, whose environmental activities span two decades. In 1975, she was instrumental in establishing two non-governmental organizations: The Society for the Protection of Nature (DHKD) and the Turkish Nature Conservation Foundation. DHKD is today a leading conservation organization in the country with 6,000 members and a professional staff of 27, including geomorphologists, fishery engineers, ornithologists and business administrators. Together they are implementing 12 field projects ranging from protection of wetlands and bird habitats to safeguarding Turkey's vast botanical biodiversity through the cultivation of indigenous bulbs and the protection of coastal zones. All DHKD projects have an environmental education component. Thanks to her single-handed efforts a major environmental battle to safeguard the most important breeding grounds of the endangered sea turtles was won. The issue became a huge national and international concern, and ended with the cancellation of a mega- tourism master plan and the declaration of Dalyan as a specially protected area in 1988. In 1994, she was very active in the declaration of another protected area: The Poloneskoy Nature Park near Istanbul. Mrs. Yazgan has always advocated the need for supportive volunteers and has undertaken fund raising activities in addition to her conservation efforts. She was the organizer of three fund raising events, which has permitted DHDK to undertake its activities.