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Friday, August 22, 2008

South Africa: Public Called to Plant More Trees

The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has called on all South Africans to join in celebrating this year's Arbor Week by planting trees in their communities to mitigate the effects of climate change.

This year Arbor Week is themed "Plant trees - save our planet" and will take place from 1 September.

Tree planting remains one of the most cost-effective ways to address climate change. Trees and forests play a vital role in regulating the climate since they absorb carbon dioxide.

Deforestation, in turn, accounts for over 20 percent of the carbon dioxide humans generate, rivaling the emissions from other sources.

Trees also play a crucial role in providing a range of products and services to rural and urban populations, including food, timber, fibre, medicines and energy as well as soil fertility, water and biodiversity conservation.

Arbor Week will set the stage for similar events around the country in which see various stakeholders including government departments, non-government organisations, schools and communities participating in tree planting.

The Arbor Week campaign aims to promote improved knowledge of trees particularly indigenous trees and their importance as well as highlight the vital roles of trees in the natural environment.

The necessity for the public to contribute to the greening of South Africa by planting and caring for trees will also be emphasised.

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