One of the goals of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030 includes “reversing the loss of forest cover worldwide through sustainable forest management, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, and increased efforts to prevent forest degradation and contribute to the global effort of addressing climate change.”
Throughout the COVID pandemic, stakeholders such as Treeco and Wild Horizons have been working alongside the Forestry Commission on indigenous tree-planting initiatives to rehabilitate areas that have been impacted by land clearing, uncontrolled harvesting of firewood, and wood for carving. With indigenous trees planted from seed in nurseries in and around Victoria Falls, the seedlings once well enough established are then transplanted into areas in need of rehabilitation.
In December in celebration of Zimbabwe’s National Tree Planting Day, an estimated 115 trees were planted by the Forestry Commission team in and around the rural communities within the region.
In addition, since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 to date, Wild Horizons have planted an estimated 428 indigenous trees at a variety of locations in and around Victoria Falls, in their continued efforts to support the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe and the UN Strategic Plans for Forests 2030. Over 25 different indigenous tree species have been included in the Wild Horizons reforestation efforts, all of which have been specifically selected to enhance ecosystem health, and based on the natural forest vegetation in each of the areas where they were planted.
These reforestation efforts will have multiple long-term benefits to the destination, including and not limited to, preventing soil erosion and preserving the fertility of the soil, maintaining and reviving watersheds which also reduces climate change and global warming, supporting biodiversity of flora and fauna, and improvement of the air quality as a whole within the region. In addition, the collective reforestation efforts of all stakeholders supports the concept of Victoria Falls building back towards recovery as one of the world’s leading sustainable green destinations.