Greenpop has partnered with Lion Encounter for their ‘Trees for Zambia’ project that was launched on July 1st.
Through this project, Cape Town-based social enterprise Greenpop aims to fight the deforestation in the Livingstone area.
The goals of this project are to plant indigenous trees in protected national parks and concessions, plant fruit trees at schools, educate the local community about the importance of trees, and develop micro tree-nurseries that will give local community members an additional revenue – and that will give trees a direct value. The initial three-week campaign in July will see over 5,000 trees planted with the help of around a hundred international volunteers. After the initial project, Greenpop will establish a permanent base in Livingstone and continue the planting and education programs on a smaller scale.
Lion Encounter, a Livingstone-based conservation program that allows travelers to encounter lion cubs in their natural environment, is assisting Greenpop by sharing its contacts and networks, offering logistical support, and offering knowledge of local area.
On top of this, David Youldon, the Chief Operating Officer of Lion Encounter’s partner ALERT (African Lion and Environmental Research Trust), will be one of the speakers at Greenpop’s event in July. Youldon, who is the host of the ITV series ‘Lion Country,’ will speak about wildlife conservation in general, lion conservation in specific, and the relationship between wildlife conservation and deforestation in Africa.
“We are very excited about this partnership,” says Misha Teasdale, Greenpop’s founder and director. “Lion Encounter has proven to be an extremely valuable source of knowledge and logistics for us, and we are very appreciative of the support.”
Lion Encounter is a conservation program dedicated to ensuring a secure future for the African lion. The program operates the African Lion Rehabilitation & Release into the Wild Program in partnership with ALERT (African Lion and Environmental Research Trust), which aims to ethically re-introduce the offspring of captive-bred African lions back into the wild. Lion Encounter in Livingstone was opened in December 2008, as part of African Encounter, which originated at Antelope Park in Gweru, Zimbabwe.
“Recent estimates of African lion populations have shown an 80 – 90% decline in the 30 years to 2002,” explains Nicola Leach, Lion Encounter’s General Manager. “Lion populations have continued to decline since then; often at an increasing rate. Lion Encounter is an active conservation project that is passionate about saving this magnificent species.”
On Lion Encounter’s partnership with Greenpop, Nicola says, “We’re really excited to be on board. The Greenpop team work so very hard to ensure that each project location benefits from their trees in a sustainable and responsible way. We believe that the challenges facing Africa can most effectively be met by uniting community and policy makers with conservation managers, researchers and business leaders. This union ensures that both present and future generations will be able to enjoy the benefits of Africa’s environment, by integrating the protection of natural habitats with economic and social development. Our partnership with Greenpop emphasizes this, and shows how when great organisations and great people partner, great things happen!”
To be part of Trees for Zambia as a volunteer for one, two or three weeks this July, email
for all the details or visit www.greenpop.org. Spaces are selling out quickly so be sure to book soon.
To find out more about Lion Encounter and ALERT, visit www.lionencounter.com and www.lionalert.org.