The Ministry of Forestry and Soil Reclamation together with Limomonane Trust planted 5 000 trees at Ha-Ntsane in Thaba-Bosiu, Maseru on March 21, 2022 in celebration of the International Day of Forests.
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as International Day of Forests to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
With this celebration, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
This yearâ€™s celebration was done in partnership with Standard Lesotho Bank, Vodacom Lesotho, Metropolitan and Lesana Financial Services.
The tree planting event was graced inter alia by presence of senior government officials, the Principal Chief of Thaba Bosiu, Chief Khoabane Theko, Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) led by Lieutenant General, Mojalefa Letsoela, Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) along with Assistant Commissioners of Police, Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) officials, school children and members of the community.
Speaking at the event, founder of Limomonane Foundation, Lipuo Nkholi stated that the foundation is interested in the entire eco-system adding that it also advocates for conservation agriculture which is organic agriculture.
Nkholi said they capacitate farmers on soil conservation, saying they also deal with the kind of agriculture that does not disturb the integrity of the environment.
On behalf of Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB), the Acting Head of Marketing, Manyathela Kheleli said as part of the bankâ€™s continued support for the country towards its the reforestation, SLB coincided with the global celebration of the International Day of Forests.
Kheleli highlighted that, with the support of the bank, Limomonane Foundation and other corporate sponsors the target is to plant 100 000 trees on this day, where 10,000 trees will be planted in every district.
He said the global theme for this yearâ€™s commemoration is forests and sustainable production and consumption, which advocates for global citizens to manage forests in a sustainable manner.
The involvement of SLB in this initiative is part of the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SLB and the Ministry last year, where the bank committed to support initiatives to participate in the reforestation of Lesotho and to promote food security through the planting of forest trees as well as fruit trees.
The Bank has committed an annual budget of M200 000 towards this initiative for a period of three years.
About 43 villages have been identified for the planting of trees this year in all the districts of the country, where SLB staff, together with government officials and the public who planted trees indicated that tree planting forms part of the Bankâ€™s social, economic and environmental (SEE) strategic imperative, where SLB promotes initiatives geared towards the management and control of greenhouse gases and the sustainability of the green environment.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Standard Lesotho Bank is equally concerned with massive deforestation and the impact that this has on the environment.
Kheleli explained that, the next phase of the MoU will be planting of fruit trees later in the year under the same initiative.
â€˜SLB is advocating for the Government to reconsider the reinstatement of the National Tree Planting Day (NPD), which was previously declared a national holiday to encourage communities to dedicate one day to plant a tree.
â€œThese efforts are going to help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and a transition towards low-carbon and green economies.
The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry, Dr Kamoho Mahlaha, mentioned that they have planted the trees as a way to conserve, protect and reclaim the land as well as the whole environment.
He said the trees will be an added advantage in fighting climate change saying trees are very important to people and animals for oxygen purpose.