Konica Minolta South Africa Plants 1000 Trees in Lotus Gardens

by Konica Minolta SA

Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, has been working with South Africa’s national greening and food gardening social enterprise, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), since 2008 to plant trees to offset some of their carbon emissions and improve environments. Initially 4 100 trees were planted in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, through FTFAs award winning trees for Homes programme and this proved so successful that, with the need to offset more carbon dioxide emissions, Konica Minolta distributed a further 4 500 trees to the disadvantaged settlements of Polokwane, Kimberley, East London, Port Elizabeth and Newcastle at the beginning of 2011. 2011 is the International Year of Forestswhich aims to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests and these urban forests planted by Konica Minolta are doing just that.

To top this off, Konica Minolta has now donated a further 3 000 Trees for Homes to the residents of Lotus Gardens in Pretoria, Entokozweni in Nelspruit and Thembalethu in George, to be planted between 15 August and 21 September 2011. Many of these plantings coincide with Arbor Month, South Africa’s time to raise awareness of the value of trees in our lives.

Through this upcoming distribution of 3 000 trees, 60 residents of the beneficiary communities will receive training and stipends as community educators to promote the need for greening and provide reports on the status of the trees over a period of one year.

“Through the distribution of these trees to homeowners around the country we are contributing to improved properties for the residents in dusty settlements and also spreading awareness about climate change and environmental issues,” says Konica Minolta South Africa’s MD, Alan Griffith. “As part of our Corporate Social Investment initiative, we have committed to this FTFA programme in an effort to offset our carbon emissions, and one of the best ways to do this is by planting trees. In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide, one of the most important greenhouse gases, these trees provide many other environmental and social benefits such as preventing water runoff and erosion, settling the dust, providing shade and shelter, lessening noise and beautifying neighbourhoods,” says Griffith.

These trees will also be registered with the United Nations Billion Tree programme, which has already recorded 11 billion trees planted, more than one per person on the planet.

Lotus Gardens, founded in 2002, and one of the nearest townships to the city of Pretoria, is the recipient of the first 1 000 Konica Minolta trees. “You can visit all of the surrounding townships, but this is one of the cleanest townships in the Tshwane Municipality,” said councillor Sam Mashola. Despite being one of the cleanest townships, Lotus Gardens looks like a desert, with big dusty yards and a scarcity of trees. According to Mashola, most of the people who live in the area were previous tenants of the neighbouring Attridgeville township. “We believe Konica Minolta will encourage more companies to assist our community,” said Rev. Dorosa, a committee member.

There are 4 500 low cost houses in the area and 50% of the people who live in this area are unemployed and mainly youth. “We have a high rate of crime because most of our children are unemployed,” said Mrs Pertunia Majola, a home owner.

We need much development in this township, and Konica Minolta is coming up with a very good community driven project,” said Simon Selolo, SANCO.

On 15 August 250 fruit trees and 250 indigenous trees will be distributed at 10am from the Show House, Phase 4, next to the Shoprite and the Post Office in Lotus Gardens. The remaining 500 trees, both fruit and indigenous, will be distributed on 16 August from the Jesus Praise Minitries, 74 Bine Crescent at 10am.

For more information or to attend the distribution events, please contact Joanne Lee Rolt on 011 656 9802/3 or joanne@trees.org.za.


Food & Trees for Africa
FTFA is South Africa’s national social enterprise that started in 1990 to address sustainable development through greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management and food security programmes. FTFA has distributed over 4 million trees, facilitated thousands of organic food gardens for the poorest and launched the first carbon calculator, the Climate Change Leadership Awards and the Carbon Protocol in South Africa.

Trees for Homes is a registered carbon offset programme under the Carbon Protocol of South Africa, and contributes to urban forestry and sustainable settlements through the planting of indigenous or fruit trees in needy communities.

Many companies, government departments, aid agencies, organisations, media and individuals now contribute to FTFA, supporting programmes or projects that are leading to healthier lives of impoverished communities, more sustainable green environments and increased awareness of our impact on the planet and the need to address this. For a complete list of FTFA’s development partners, board members, patrons, employees and projects, as well as financial statements, please refer to www.trees.co.za.

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