Port Elizabeth

National Arbor Week

The natural environment is faced by constant challenges which threaten its stability and sustainability. Such challenges include climate change, disruptions of ecological systems and increasing weather temperatures. These challenges are solely caused by the activities of human beings. It would therefore only be fair for us to charge ourselves with the responsibility of addressing the damage we have done to Mother Nature. On 9 September 2018 staff from the South African National Zakah Fund and the public hosted an Arbour Day event as part of national Arbor Week celebrations. This initiative took place at Schoenmakerskop, a campsite located along Marine Drive in Port Elizabeth where 12 indigenous trees were planted. The trees were planted on the local Campsite frequently used by the Muslim community at Schoenmakerskop. The trees that were planted were all suited to the coast and are all water-wise, they were the Coastal Coral Trees, Coastal Silver Oaks and Keurboom Trees.

The purpose of the initiative was to instil an appreciation for nature and to promote the planting of trees within our environment, especially where trees & shrubs were stripped for development. This will assist in improving the environment, contribute to the stopping of climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. The efforts made by SANZAF through this initiative will ensure that the mature trees provide shade which is sorely lacking ion the campsite, block some of the prevailing winds, attract and provides homes for birds, wildlife and purifying the air. In addition the effort was also to ensure we engage our local youth and increase public participation in the initiatives of SANZAF and the community. Donors were invited to support the project by donating or buying one of the trees listed or as a sadaqatul jaariyah. The SANZAF endeavours to make the Arbor Day project an annual initiative in order to ensure that the objectives of the project materialises and that some of the trees removed in the development of the campsite is restored.

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