Fighting to save the rainforest

LIONS clubs in Northumberland are branching out their environmental work to India and Tanzania.

Members of the North East England and Scotland District of Lions Clubs International, including those in Morpeth and Ponteland, are joining forces with the United Bank of Carbon (UBoC) to try to save the rainforests.

The organisations will fund the planting of 15,000 trees to help seven villages in Tamil Nadu, Southern India, to establish tree nurseries and begin the first phase of planting in a major reforestation programme, which will see 800,000 trees planted over the next five years.

The project will kick-start an initiative to protect a watershed vital to 26 villages in the area.

The partnership is also supporting a tree planting and social project in Kagera, Tanzania, in which 24 farming families have developed a rigorous and disciplined approach to agroforestry and land use systems and can now sell accredited climate change carbon credit certificates. Funding will be given to buy 1,000 certificates, representing the planting of 1,000 trees.

UBoC Chairman Jonathan Wild said: “The purpose of Lions is to meet the needs of local communities and the world — it’s fantastic to see such a huge volunteer organisation taking on one of our biggest global challenges.

“It’s even more impressive to see Lions in the north of England and Scotland leading the way by supporting two reforestation projects, which also embody the principle of Trade Not Aid, giving the hope of a brighter future to parts of the world where trees are not just a nice to have amenity, but a matter of life and death.”