Segera Retreat goes into reforestation overdrive


(Posted 02nd March 2021)

Following the successful launch of East Africa’s first All-Women Anti-Poaching Ranger Academy in 2019, also reported by ATCNews at the time, the ZEITZ foundation embarked on its next important initiative in 2020: combining education and vocational training with a reforestation, conservation and biodiversity initiative.

Creating protected areas and growing a new forest, the ZEITZ foundation aims to plant over 1 million trees in the next five years, making it East Africa’s largest reforestation project on a private conservancy.

During the first phase of the Tree of Life forest,100,000 tree seedlings were planted in Spring 2020 in the shape of a huge rhinoceros on Segera Conservancy – a 50,000 acre wildlife sanctuary in Laikipia, Kenya.

Thanks to generous supporters, the second phase of 50,000 more tree seedlings were planted in December 2020, with another 100,000 seedlings planned for Spring 2021.

Deforestation is causing alarm across the globe as a dangerous and rapid decrease in forest covered land exacerbates our planet’s climate crisis. Kenya’s forest covering has dropped from 10% to only 6% in the last decade alone. The long-term effects will have a critically negative impact on the ecosystem, affecting not only plant and animal life, but also the wellbeing of Kenyan communities who rely on the land’s fertility for their own prosperity.

The majority of the new tree seedlings will be cultivated, grown and planted by a new Vocational Training Centre for Forestry and Permaculture on the Segera Conservancy, launching in Summer 2021, to create education and employment opportunities for local communities. Planting trees is an essential aspect of restoring and replenishing land, as a healthy biodiversity also creates underground water reserves, fertile topsoil and an abundant carbon sequestration capacity.

In consultation with local experts, six different indigenous tree species were chosen to maximize long-term success for the ‘Tree of Life’ forest:

– Acacia abyssinica
– Acacia kirkii
– Acacia polyacantha
– Acacia seyal
– Acacia xanthophloea
– Acacia mellifera

At only $1 per tree, every donation makes a real difference towards protecting Kenya’s biodiversity for the future, and everyone can take part. This ZEITZ Foundation reforestation initiative is being carried out in partnership with Kisima, a leader in forestry management in Kenya, led by Charles Dyer (Forest Designer and General Manager of Kisima Foundation).

Supporters include the Leopold Bachmann Foundation, AKO Foundation, Rick Steve’s Climate Smart, Equinoxe Trust, Solidarité International, Freestream and other valued private donors. This project is also endorsed by the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), supporting their national campaign to plant 1 trillion trees in Kenya.

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