In central Africa the Anglican church has played a key role in tree planting to both tackle desertification and to offset damaging emissions.
Rev. Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator for Green Anglicans, which is the environmental network of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, including South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique is encouraged by what the churches are doing in central Africa.
“People are seeing very practical ways of making a difference, of restoring ecosystems,” Rachel said. “The main challenge is people like to plant trees for occasions, like a bishop’s visit or a new building, but they end forgetting about them and the trees die, so the goal is to get people to take ownership of the trees, so they end up growing. We need to move away from planting trees to growing trees.”
- In Malawi Anglican Bishops have agreed to integrate environmental protection into the Church Liturgy and are linking tree growing to occasions in life such as weddings and funerals
- In Mozambique the church is also planting trees to prevent flooding, focussing on cashew trees to add economic value to the trees to discourage cutting down for charcoal
- In Nairobi The Anglican Church of Kenya has adopted 3,000 hectares and aims to plant 30,000 trees in the coming years.