A tree will be planted in Uganda for every child born or adopted in Wales, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones has announced during a visit to the deforested region of Mbale.
The announcement was made as the First Minister planted the one millionth tree as part of the successful One Million Trees project, supported by environmental charity, Size of Wales, and the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.
The project will continue with a new target of 10 million trees and will link with the Welsh Government’s successful Plant! scheme, managed by Natural Resources Wales in conjunction with the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw), which currently plants a tree in Wales for every child born or adopted here.
The tree-planting project in Uganda aims to help alleviate problems caused by years of soil erosion, as a result of deforestation, and provide new and sustainable livelihoods for local people from the fruit and wood provided by the trees.
The First Minister, visiting the region as part of his support for the Wales for Africa programme, said: “Today is a proud moment for the people of Wales. Not only are we the first country in the world to protect an area of tropical forests equivalent to its own size, but as part of that we have now planted one million trees and supported thousands of people in the community. “I’m delighted to announce that the project will link with Plant!
It’s important that people in Wales know just how much of a difference tree planting is making, and will continue to make, to local people here in Mbale. The trees are protecting their precious environment and supporting them to make a living.” Director of Size of Wales, Claire Raisin added, "We are thrilled to have planted one million trees in Uganda with the help of the people of Wales. We are now even more excited to expand the project to plant 10 million trees.
This vital work will have a massive impact in Mbale – we can’t wait to get started! "It’s really wonderful to see Wales leading the way and taking positive steps to help tackle climate change.” One Million Trees is just one of the projects supported by, Size of Wales, who are aiming to bring everyone in Wales together to help sustain an area of rainforest the size of Wales and raise awareness of climate change.
Tropical forests are critically important to the world’s climate as they absorb nearly a fifth of all man made CO2 emissions. The people of Wales have been working together through Size of Wales to fundraise and help restore the forests of Uganda.