This action will of course be done at the heart of our orphaned kids program.
Tree planting, Salama, Kenya, May 2008
Eco-Sys Action started a portion of its pledge to UNEP Billion Tree Campaign by planting 1,000 trees in the Salama area in Kenya. This is a preliminary operation to test the soil and sensibilize kids to their environment. As Mary Wykstra, Cheetah Conservation Fund Kenya Director, says, "It helps communities understand that the environment which supports carnivores is the same environment which sustains the livelihood of the people."
Four schools were selected in the Salama area and each tree is taken care by a group of students. A presentation on trees and the environment was given to them by a botanical specialist while an educational program was set up to help them understand the role of predators in the ecosystem.
Indigenous Acacia sp., Lucena, Cassia saimea, Balanites sp. and decorative Neem and Jacaranda were among the species planted. The project will expand to set up tree nurseries and a similar action in the Samburu area with the Ewaso Lions Project.
More than tree planting, it's the awareness raised by every single tree that makes this Salama project with kids so special.
About 1,000 more trees have also been planted at two cattle dips where CCF initiated a campaign to improve livestock health and therefore show farmers the benefits brought about by preserving cheetah habitat. Because land divisions in the last 20 years have caused deforestation and reduced water supplies in this area, new trees and the ongoing program to reforest part of this ecosystem have given hope for a better future for both the community and the wildlife.