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My Promotional Stand at Long Beach Mall on Saturday 23rd April

The stall at Long beach mall on Saturday was a complete success. I had the help and support of my 2 besties, Silas Kruger and Philip Smulian, and later by my missus. I managed to raise R2713.35 for trees to be planted at the 2016 Zambia Festival of Action. I am overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of people I approached. Many showed a deep concern for the earth and took time to inspire, encourage, advise and congratulate me. Many donated as much as R100 at a time, and one lady, a whopping R250. Thank you all of you – to those that gave their hard earned cash and to those could not afford to, but took the time to chat with me and offer words of inspiration.

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The Administration – Phil and Silas
the-bicycle
The Bike, which on this day many were trying to buy off me
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2 of my sponsors – Cycle Lab, Tokai and Tracks 4 Africa
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The Display Stand – Before the crowd’s arrival
the-table
The Table

The Machine…

And finally my vehicle, my transport, my pack horse, my bike…. The Merida Big 9 – what a piece of work she is! She must be named! Thanks again Cycle Lab, Tokai for supplying me with the perfect machine! I’m going for a spin!

The Machine

My New Sponsor – Cycle Lab Tokai

Feeling Blessed! Cycle Lab, Tokai (Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park) have expressed their concern for the environment and deforestation by sponsoring an assortment of vital tools, gear, apparel and gadgetry! Mathew, helped select the ideal bike for me, and while I zipped around the peninsula taking care of other errands, replaced the tyres on the bike with tubeless ones and fitted 2 bottle cages and made whatever other secret adjustments a novice cycler like me wouldn’t yet understand. Mathew, the manager had a friendly and helpful team of technicians at hand and the shop itself has a great selection of bikes and gear. Thank you Cycle Lab, Tokai for making my journey possible!

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The Gear – Sponsored by Cycle Lab, Tokai

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And finally my vehicle, my transport, my pack horse, my bike…. The Merida Big 9 – what a piece of work she is! She must be named! Thanks again Cycle Lab, Tokai for supplying me with the perfect machine! I’m going for a spin!

The Machine

What’s Happening in Zambia?

About 60% of Zambia’s land area is covered in forest, but this figure is dropping quickly. Of the 44.6 million hectares of forest we are losing 250 to 300 thousand hectares each year according to recent data by the Centre for International Forestry Research.

Experts agree that at the current rate of deforestation Zambia will be completed denuded within a mere 15 years. The problem lies mostly with slash and burn, logging for timber, and cutting down trees for firewood and charcoal production.

Charcoal is a lucrative business in Zambia because of the high demand for it as an energy source, and with only 25% of the population connected to electricity, this comes as no surprise. Add to this the intermittent power supply due to load shedding, the dependence that even affluent households have on charcoal is understandable.

More indirectly, there are other underlying causes of forest loss which relate to the government’s economic liberalisation policies that influence the conversion of forest to agriculture and charcoal production. Economic policies such as currency devaluation and the removal of agricultural subsidies are partly to blame. Over the years, indigenous farming techniques, like the use of ash of cleared vegetation for fertiliser, have been replaced with subsidised chemical fertilisers which ultimately results in soil erosion, fertility loss, and acidification. These subsidies were withdrawn in the 1990’s and rural farmers resorted to charcoal farming to be able to afford agricultural inputs.

The privatization of electricity imposed on many countries by the IMF and World Bank raised energy prices forcing many people to return to charcoal usage. The government also incentivised farmers to plant cash crops such as sunflower, soya, and cotton which further denuded local forests.

The burning of forest results not only in the loss of bio mass, but is also a huge contributing factor to greenhouse gas emissions. Land use change, including deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for 12 – 29% of these harmful emissions

 

What’s being done?

In response to what has been deemed a failure to recognise a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) was established and in 2005 they proposed to the Conference of the Parties to the The United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) a mechanism for considering the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases stemming from tropical deforestation and forest degradation as a climate change mitigation measure.

 

As a mechanism under the multi-lateral climate change agreement, REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and Forest Degradation) is essentially a vehicle to financially reward developing countries for their verified efforts to reduce emissions and enhance removals of greenhouse gases through a variety of forest management options. As with other mechanisms under the UNFCCC, there are few prescriptions that specifically mandate how to implement the mechanism at national level; the principles of national sovereignty and subsidiarity imply that the UNFCCC can only establish what results it would reward and require that reports are submitted in a certain format and open for review by the Convention but in essence REDD+ is no more than a set of guidelines on how to report on forest resources and forest management strategies and their results in terms of reducing emissions and enhancing removals of greenhouse gases. However, a set of requirements has been elaborated to ensure that reports from Parties are consistent and comparable and that their content is open to review and in function of the objectives of the Convention.

Cape Town to Zambia for Trees

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In May 2016 I will be trading in the Bakkie for a bicycle and travelling 3000 km from Cape Town to Zambia via Namibia and Botswana to attend the Zambia Festival of Action.

This event, hosted by Greenpop, is one of several reforestation projects in Africa and brings volunteers from around the world together with local schools and communities to plant trees, attend green workshops, participate in mural painting and education projects, and experience immersion in sustainable lifestyles

Volunteers will be accommodated in a communal and comfortable camp site, fed wholesome meals, and will have some time to explore, relax around a fire, share ideas and make good friends. This is a positive week of fun, learning, contributing and giving back to the earth.

Zambia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world due to slash and burn farming, urban expansion and logging. Greenpop is raising money to buy trees to be planted in and around Livingstone to tackle this issue. All trees sponsored will be planted throughout the 3 week festival by the local community and the volunteers attending. Please help by donating a tree for R120 and receive a certificate with the GPS coordinates of the tree planted in your honour. Visit my givengain campaign:  https://www.givengain.com/ad/projects/12263/view/