In South Africa, Arbor Day was first celebrated 32 years ago. Whilst it has been over 135 years since the idea was founded by J. Sterling Morton. Celebrations of this day in the country were further extended to National Arbor Week (1 -7 of September). However, it is now celebrated for the entire month of September. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), are the custodian of forestry in South Africa and responsible for the campaign.
During this time schools, businesses and organisations participate in community events that assist to improve the health and beauty of the local environment by planting indigenous trees and tress that are suitable for the local environment or by simply cleaning our public parks. Some of the oldest, largest and culturally significant trees, which include the Sophia Town Oak Tree and the Sagole Baobab Tree in Limpopo, have hence been chosen this year in investing in a sustainable future for South Africa.
This year’s campaign is being used as a build-up towards the XIV World Forestry Congress that will take place from 7 to 11 September 2015 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The congress aims to highlight the value of forests with regard to sustainable livelihoods, environmental conservation and development in general.
Some of the benefits of planting and conserving trees: We plant trees for soil protection, to produce oxygen, to clean pollution from the air, as shelter for animals, to protect us from severe wind storms, to increase our property values, for food and shade building.