What is the target of the “I am the hummingbird” campaign?
The Hummingbird campaign is an initiative of the Green Belt Movement in honour of Prof Wangari Maathai to plant 1 BILLION trees across Kenya.
Where can I find a hummingbird badge to post on my social media accounts?
You can add the hummingbird badge here.
Why do we need to increase the forest cover?
We need to increase forest cover because trees are the foundations of many ecosystems and livelihoods. They offer vital services from preventing desertification, conserving soil and regulating water flow, and providing clean air to breathe as well as providing building timber, firewood and medicines for local residents.
There is also a link between climate change and forest cover. Trees absorb carbon dioxide so when they are cut down not only is carbon released but we lose an important carbon sink. By curbing deforestation and increasing tree cover, we are also reducing carbon emissions and helping to mitigate against climate change.
Why is the international year of forests so important?
As the International Year of Forests, the world will celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests as well as raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development for all types of forests. It is essential that we raise awareness as forests cover 31% of our planet and are the world’s lungs.
Can anyone plant a tree?
Yes, anyone can plant a tree.
Where do I plant a tree?
You can plant a tree on:
- Degraded sections of gazetted forest land
- Public spaces like schools, health facilities, religious establishments, cattle dips and along roads and rivers
- Private lands
What type of tree should I plant?
Plant species native to your particular area as they adapt best to local conditions. It is good to plant a mixture of species over monoculture so why not plant some fruit trees, too!
Where do I get seedlings?
Purchase seedlings from the nearest Tree Nursery. If you can’t find one, you can contact a forester in your area or click here for contact information of KFS zonal managers.
Can I plant a tree at home?
Yes, you can plant a tree at home.
How do I plant a tree?
To plant a tree, follow these simple steps:
- Dig a hole at least twice the width of the root ball to allow the roots to spread out.
- Without distributing the root ball, remove the tree from its potting bag. Note: be careful not to tear the potting bag so you can reuse it to grow another seedling.
- Holding the tree by its root ball, place the tree in the planting hole. Make sure the soil line of the tree is higher than the surface of the surrounding hole.
- Shovel some soil into the planting hole, and make sure the tree is straight. Fill the hole gently but firmly.
- It is better not to apply fertilizer at the time of planting – simply water the seedling thoroughly to settle the soil. Do not stake the tree; the sooner the tree can stand alone, the sooner it will become strong.
- If you are planting more than one tree, try to space trees well to avoid competition for air and soil nutrients, and to encourage the growth of branches.
- Finally, provide water if needed – especially during the first few months. Watch out for yellowing of leaves, and maintain good air circulation by pruning.
How do you ensure that the trees are planted and managed sustainably?
The trees planted by GBM across Kenya are all sourced from our established tree nurseries which are cared for by local communities. By using our nurseries, GBM can ensure that the planting process is sustanable through use of indigenous species and natural fetilisers. In setting up nurseries, GBM is also able to provide wood, fodder, food and sustainable livelihoods for local communities while raising awareness about local conservation. Once grown into saplings, the trees are planted by GBM foresters on allocated land and grown using natural fertilisers, sunlight, water and love!
To provide your newly planted tree with appropriate follow-up care:
- Protect the tree from pests and diseases by removing weeds and unwanted plants as they will compete with tree roots for moisture and nutrients
- Plant trees in an area that is secure from grazing and other malicious damage
- During the dry season, water the tree.
Can planting a single tree really make a difference?
Absolutely! It’s up to every one of us to plant trees and conserve the environment. The simplest of gestures, accumulatively, can make the largest of impacts.
Can I donate money?
Yes! GBM have created a fund for tree planting activities to which anyone can contribute. Go to our website and follow the links to donate via the US or Europe offices. Make sure that you mark your donation with ‘tree planting’ so we know that you want your money to go to these types of activities.
How much should I donate?
It costs approximately £1, €1.5, or $2 to plant and nurture a tree using the Green Belt ten step tree planting approach. GBM appreciates donations of any size. Wangari Maathai reached the age of 71; why not make a donation so we can plant 71 trees in her honour?
Will all the money go toward tree planting?
The money you donate to GBM will not only plant a tree in Kenya, it will enable GBM community groups to nurture it and make sure that it will survive through GBM’s tree planting approach. The mission of GBM continues to be to mobilize communities for self-determination, justice, equity, poverty reduction and environmental conservation, using trees as the entry point.
Who will plant the tree that I donate money for?
GBM has a network of over 4000 community groups that have planted over 47 million trees since it was founded in 1977 by Prof. Wangari Maathai. Small scale farmers, most of whom are women, organize themselves into tree nurseries that produce tree seedlings. The seedlings are planted on farms, river systems and in degraded forests. A cadre of professional staff at the head office or in the field are supported by local, quasi-voluntary staff known as green rangers who work directly with the groups and oversees the tree planting process, as well as the other GBM activities.