Adapted from Gavin Drake, ACNS

Planting trees to mark special occasions like confirmations, baptisms, and weddings is an increasingly popular practice in many areas of southern and central Africa, thanks to young Green Anglicans who promoted it.

The Province of Burundi is going a step further and is looking to plant one tree for every one of the 10 million people in its country. The church hopes to reach its “One Person, One Tree” goal within the next five years.

The move is designed to protect forests and improve the environment. A report last week showed how planting trees on a hillside provides security for refugees living on a hillside in Rutana. It has resulted in a transformed environment not only for the Tanzanian refugees who have made it their home but also for wildlife, including monkeys and partridges. In addition to providing shelter for housing, the trees help to prevent flooding and have resulted in new sources of clean drinking water and improved agricultural yields.

The new tree-planting campaign is supported by Episcopal Relief & Development, the development agency of the Episcopal Church. The church has set up nurseries in different provinces of Burundi and aims to plant the first million trees, on public and private land, within the first year.

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