African urban greening movement partners with CitiesWithNature

Kijani Pamoja – based in Tanzania – has joined CitiesWithNature as an official partner! Kijani Pamoja is a youth-led Pan-African re-greening movement to activate, inspire, and educate communities to regreen cities and urban spaces and care for the environment. CitiesWithNature and Kijani Pamoja will collaborate on developing and sharing practical guidance around tree planting – specifically creating Miyawaki forests – as well as awareness raising and advocacy around nature, biodiversity and Green Recovery.

Kijani Pamoja means “Green Together” and works to unite communities to become restoration leaders and key drivers of the movement. Their mission is to activate financial and human resources to engage communities to take action and plant trees and uber-dense indigenous “mini” forests (Miyawaki Forests) in cities across Africa.

In March 2022, in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland to Tanzania, Kijani Pomoja launched a 10-year urban re-greening movement that aims to plant millions of trees to create thousands of mini-forests across Dar es Salaam. This forms part of their efforts to reduce the country’s largest commercial city’s vulnerability to climate change.

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Story and photo credit: John Namkwahe, Communication Lead at Kijani Pamoja

 

Dar es Salaam is estimated to lose about 10% of its trees annually according to IINTERACT-Bio’s 2019 study titled “A Thematic Atlas of Nature’s Benefits to Dar es Salaam”. The study further indicates that by 2040, Dar es Salaam will frequently experience temperatures above 36°C and therefore recommends that tree planting efforts are intensified.

A similar urban re-greening campaign was also launched in Zanzibar on 22 March, implemented by Kijani Pamoja partners to further promote the climate action agenda in the isles. The launch event brought together a number of environmental stakeholders from public entities, private institutions and development partners including embassies to Tanzania.

As a partner organization to CitiesWithNature, Kijani Pamoja aims to address some of the environmental challenges faced by other towns and cities across Tanzania and East African Community (EAC) Member States such as Kenya and Uganda in the near future.

“Protecting and enhancing urban green spaces provides huge benefits to one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. Growing and caring for trees encourages active community participation and improves the mental and physical health of people living in our cities” said Ms. Sarah Scott, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of the Kijani Pamoja Movement during the organization’s launch in March. Moreover, she appealed to the Tanzanian government, global donor community, private sector, and local communities to join hands and work together to eliminate the existing environmental challenges in the country.

The Tanzanian Government and environmental stakeholders operating in Tanzania including the Embassies and private sector institutions have pledged to support the Movement. In support of the movement, Ms. Jokate Mwegelo – a District Commissioner for Temeke, who officiated the movement launch on behalf of Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Mr. Amos Makala – said, “I am encouraged by the Kijani Pamoja mission and movement to engage various stakeholders plus communities in our country to plant trees and make our cities more livable and sustainable for the future”. She added: “We are all responsible for conserving nature for the betterment of our planet. The Government of Tanzania plays its part to conserve the environment by preserving forests and supporting environmental conservation initiatives in the country”.

The Irish Deputy Head of Mission, Ms. Mags Gaynor, emphasized the crucial role of forests in addressing climate change and protecting our planet. She added that, “Climate action is a diplomatic and development priority for Ireland. Therefore, Ireland is happy to support Kijani Pamoja in this initiative that will contribute to increasing urban forest conservation, mobilizing stakeholders, and inspiring youth to be at a forefront of the movement”.

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