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Press Releases 2010

Tree planting in Alexandra signals new beginnings for school

Tree planting in Alexandra signals new beginnings for school

Alexandra Township took a small, but important step towards reducing its carbon footprint and addressing environmental degradation when a tree planting initiative was launched at East Bank High School on Thursday.

East Bank High is one of 200 under-resourced schools across the country that will benefit from a R1-million donation made by Shell South Africa to Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA), an NGO specialising in greening, climate change action and permaculture food gardening. The funds will go towards planting 10 000 trees in the schools over a one-month period.

The schools’ greening initiative is the first phase of a three year partnership between Shell and FTFA.

“Schools which demonstrate commitment to the first phase of the programme by caring for their trees over the next three months will progress to the second phase, which involves the development of organic food gardens,” said Jeunesse Park, FTFA’s founder.

The organic food gardens will assist with the nutritional needs of the learners, while any excess produce could be sold to generate income for the schools.

“Our partnership with FTFA is a testimony to our commitment to minimize the impact of our business on the environment,” said Elton Fortuin, Communications Manager at Shell South Africa.

“By greening under-resourced schools we are contributing towards removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which trees do naturally by way of photosynthesis, while also beautifying the local environment.”

South Africa aims to plant more than one million trees throughout the country, every year. This follows the launch of the Plant a Million Trees initiative in 2007, a UN programme that encourages all countries to plant more than a billion trees a year.

A further 39 schools in Gauteng alone will benefit from Shell’s partnership with Food and Trees for Africa.