Scholars and community from Moshi in Tanzania came together to plant trees in their community and commit to a greener future for this fast-growing town.
Urban areas need trees like they need roads and buildings. By storing carbon while releasing oxygen, trees combat climate change by merely existing. It is therefore no surprise that a recent tree-planting event in Moshi, Tanzania yielded much optimism and enjoyment.
The event took place as part of ICLEI Africa’s INTERACT-Bio project in Tanzania, as part of the outreach component, which is implemented by NGOs Nipe Fagio and BORDA Tanzania. The tree planting was facilitated by the Kilimanjaro project.
Moshi is a 60km2 town in the North of Tanzania where 200 000 locals live, but it is mostly known as the gateway to the Kilimanjaro National Park, the iconic mountain with the same name, and lush forests and rivers. Its tourism industry is driving a staggering 3% growth rate and associated development. While impressive municipal bylaws govern environmental protection, Moshi’s biodiversity and its benefits are under threat. NGOs and projects in the area are working hard to ensure that nature is not left out as the town booms.
During Moshi’s most recent rainy season, the children from Kimochi Primary and Secondary School, as well as teachers, headmasters and political and community leaders came together to learn about the importance and value of trees in urban environments when they visited the Kiviwama Arboretum. Apart from combating climate change, trees also increase the area’s property value, air quality and the happiness of the people and animals in the area. Trees promote biodiversity and water conservation and cool down the streets shared by locals and visitors.
Following an educational visit to the Arboretum, each of the 250 people in attendance planted a tree, chosen from five different indigenous species. The scholars adopted their trees, and together with headmasters, made a commitment to care for them going forward. Each scholar also received a tree to plant at home, ensuring that the urban greening stretches into the community and residential areas. Its timing during the rainy season ensures the best chance of survival for the 500 new trees now standing tall in Moshi.
During the information session at the Arboretum, a tree expert from the Kilimanjaro project emphasised: “Scholars have a responsibility to share their knowledge about trees with their friends so that many may grow up with the spirit of preserving and nurturing trees in their towns and cities.”
INTERACT-Bio is a four-year project designed for improving the utilisation and management of nature within fast-growing cities and the regions surrounding them. It aims to provide expanding urban communities in the Global South with nature-based solutions and associated long-term benefits. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI). Read more on ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center.