Inaugural event a great success!
On Sunday 23 November 2014, dozens of groups and many individuals came to plant beech and oak trees and bushes on a 2 hectare plot south of Leuven. To be more specific, the Forest in One Day event reforested a plot of land between the Forêt de Soignes and the Meerdaalwoud in Oud-Heverlee. Tree -planting initiatives such as ours make it possible to create a green corridor between these two areas of forest. This ecological corridor provides new habitats for animals and enables them to move from one forest to the other. We humans also benefit from a replanted forest. It provides a calm environment for our leisure activities, protected now and for future generations.
People of all ages enjoyed planting trees in the good weather and blazing sunshine. It was also an opportunity spend a relaxing day outdoors in the Belgian countryside. Guided walks, activities and soup were on offer and much appreciated by all!
Mark, a participant from Australia, said: “It isn’t often that you can give something back to nature. Living in a city, we try to minimise our negative impact, but through this event we can actually do something positive for nature.”
JGI Belgium never forgets its African roots, so there was an African dimension to Forest in One Day as well. For every tree planted in Belgium, young people in Congo-Brazzaville will also plant a tree, the objective being to restore and protect the environment both here and elsewhere for the benefit of animals, especially chimpanzees, but also of Man.
In Congo, young people are reforesting the Tchimpounga nature reserve which is home to 140 wild chimpanzees and many other plants and animals. However, the flora and fauna of this reserve has suffered under the galloping deforestation of the last decades. There has been intensive poaching activity targeting a large number of species. The great primeval forest has dwindled to a few patches of trees where animals and plants struggle to survive. The young people participating in this project have committed themselves to planting corridors of fruit trees to connect these patches of forest. Chimpanzees love fruit so these corridors constitute a food supply as well as a restored habitat. Furthermore, these corridors make it easier for the primates to migrate, so that isolated groups can get together, thus promoting genetic diversity in the nature reserve. This big project forges a strong bond between the young people and the forest. They become the guardians of the forest.
The whole JGI team would like to thank everyone who took part in Forest in One Day, our partners BOS+ Vlanderen, Reason2be, Lisa for the composting stand, Triodos Funds our generous sponsor, all our volunteers and Marcel for his warm welcome throughout.