By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. Editor
The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is calling on Black women across America to take an active role in combating climate change and become part of the international green revolution by participating in the organization’s Trees of Hope campaign.
“The Trees of Hope campaign is borne out of NCNW’s tradition of respect for our shared interconnected global responsibility for the future of Mother Earth, said NCNW President, Dr. Thelma Daley.
At a ceremony attended by scores of NCNW’s partnering organizations, Daley, said NCNW will work collaboratively with the Arbor Day Foundation to support tree-planting initiatives in Haiti, as well as Mali and Senegal, West Africa. The Trees of Hope campaign will connect local farmers and organizations in the area to plant at least 10,000 trees.
“This initiative is re-instituting what Dr. Bethune started, and what Dr. Height carried out,” said Daly in an interview with the Afro.
Daley said the Trees of Hope initiative would serve as the first step in re-instituting the international outreach and footprint NCNW founder Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Dorothy Height, who served as president of NCNW from 1958-1990.
“It is our job now to build on the framework that these great women started. Dr. Bethune said ‘leave no one behind. Through the Trees of Hope initiative, we are inviting every member to participate. Trees are needed in Haiti, Mali, and Senegal, “Daley said indicating the organization may expand to other countries and
/or shade deficit communities in the United States based on the success of the new initiative.
Dan Lambe, Chief Executive Officer at the Arbor Day Foundation was on hand to affirm the partnership and welcome NCNW partners to the work of providing relief to the world’s environmental crisis through tree planting.
“NCNW saw planting trees as a tangible multi-benefit way to make a difference on an international scale, said Lambe.
“The Arbor Day Foundation has a long history of working on international re-forestation Together we found three projects we are going to support. This project is focused on an international footprint NCNW is excited to explore, and so are we,” Lambe added.
Lambe said that the Arbor Foundation will be ready to start planting trees in the three countries identified for Pilot Hope by next year.” We work with other partnering organizations in the host countries of Haiti, Mali and Senegal who will be ready to do the actual tree planting based on the activity of the NCNW membership,” Lambe said.
Deforestation contributes to climate change by accelerating the amount of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to the Rainforest Alliance. A recent study conducted by Jonas Schwaab, ETH University in Zurich, Switzerland found that the cooling effect of trees reduced surface temperature areas by up to 12 degrees Celsius.
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