Acting for Africa’s forests to Sink Our CO2

On International Day of Forests, 21 March 2020, African Climate Reality Project launched Sink Our CO2 – our new campaign aimed at creating awareness around forest management, restoration, and protection as carbon sinks, and inspire people to plant and protect trees.

But, they are in danger – which means we are too. And so it’s up to us to speak for the trees, and ensure that their future (and ours) is protected from the climate crisis.

The African Climate Reality Project team was thrilled to see some of the exciting plans that Climate Reality Leaders and Climate Champions had – from tree plantings, community presentations, climate strikes and lobbying for better forest management policies.

While some of these actions went ahead, many plans had to change to comply with the advice of relevant health authorities as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the climate crisis continues, and so we had to get creative.

Large community tree planting plans turned into tree plantings between neighbours, and #ClimateStrikes moved from the streets to social media. And don’t worry if you missed out on the action – you can add your voice to the #SinkOurCO2 call with our Social Media Sharing Toolkit!

See some of our Climate Reality Leaders, volunteers and fellow climate activists in action below.

Kenya

Titus Murithi of Meru County, Kenya had a big tree planting action planned at the community library, but instead brought together his daughters Blessy and Barbra and a few of their school friends to plant trees on a neighbour’s land. Titus spoke to these budding environmentalists about the importance of trees in our fight against the climate crisis – and how we all need to wash our hands regularly to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

Nigeria

Climate Reality Leader, Mike Terungwa was interviewed on a local channel about the causes and impacts of climate change, and the importance of forest restoration, protection, and management.

Sierra Leone

Alhassan Sesay, Founder of the Sierra Leone School Green Club and member of The Resilient 40 joined the #ClimateStrikeOnline to support International Day of Forests and call for the protection of the country’s forests.

Zambia

Climate Reality Leader, Nathan Zimba had also planned for a tree planting event. To avoid large crowds gathering, Nathan instead took the trees intended for his event and held a free tree give-away for passers-by in his community. Nathan also was hosted on-air by a community radio, where he spoke about climate change and the importance of forests and trees.

Also in Zambia, Climate Reality Leaders Ivy Chipasha and Akufuna Muyunda teamed up to speak for the trees. On the eve of International Day of Forests, Ivy and Akufuna went on-air on radio to discuss the importance of carbon sink management. The following day, the two change makers engaged small holder farmers, village headmen, students, and business persons on climate change causes and impacts, and how forests and trees are one of our solutions to the climate crisis.

Branch staff, South Africa

The African Climate Reality Project team were all practising social distancing and self isolation in order to follow the advice of relevant health authorities, but we can still speak up for Africa’s forests – and you can take action from your home too! Download the #SinkOurCO2 Social Media Sharing Toolkit today.