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Today, forests cover 31% of the earth’s land surface, and according to the FAO (World Food Organization), 60 million indigenous peoples depend almost entirely on forests. It is important to enhance and conserve forest land, and indeed all green space, not only for its esthetic value, but also for ecological, economic and social benefits. Trees have always been intimately linked to the evolution of the Earth’s biodiversity, especially humanity, since oxygen, water, food and medicines all depend on forests. Forests also play a pivotal role in adapting to and mitigating global warming.

A vital resource for our society, trees have always been intimately linked to human evolution. Unfortunately, their importance and benefits have often been overlooked in favor of urban development. And yet, trees in urban environments are essential to maintaining an adequate quality of life.

Planting trees isn’t just about gardening.

Planting trees is a gesture for the environment; it’s a way of raising awareness of sustainable development and ecology, but above all it’s a way of adapting to the harmful effects of climate change, such as extreme heat, land degradation and the proliferation of diseases linked to rising temperatures. Moreover, planting trees is a way of restoring ambient temperature and their recreational value.

With this in mind, on May 31, 2023, African Environmental Network joined forces with the Council Douala 2 and the regional representative of the ministry of environment of the Wouri council to plant trees in NEW BELL BASSA public schools. The children were able to discover and understand the issues surrounding tree planting. Awareness-raising took place both in the classroom, where the theory was taught, and during the planting of the 108 trees. The latter will help mitigate the extreme heat felt in the Douala 2eme district, sequester carbon and limit land degradation in the district. We estimate that nearly 10,000 people in 34 districts will benefit from the initiative, and nearly 1,000 schoolchildren will be able to enjoy a fresh air environment, far from the extreme heat and its corollaries which are the among the drivers of environment, animal and human health degradation.

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