Tree Awards this Thursday

Gerine Hoff
The Botanical Society of Namibia hosts their annual Tree Awards on Thursday (19 October). This year several nominations have been received.
From Katima Mulilo, the Wild Kids Academy established its annual tree-planting programme in 2020. Trees planted are 65% indigenous of which some bear fruit and some are ornamental. Furthermore, they have a landscape project in Katima and aim to be “the school that is most in touch with nature”. Finally, they have produced an informative booklet on trees.
The next nominee is Agnes Shivute from the Okafitu village in the Omusati region who began a nursery at her home in 2017. This has provided an income and expanded to selling tote bags with names of indigenous trees. In the meantime, she also collects seeds of indigenous plants and has undertaken fundraising to set up a nursery on land allocated by the traditional authority. Agnes is also involved in educating and creating awareness, has written a children’s book, has established a seed bank and sells non-indigenous trees, but that are edible plants.
Gondwana’s Quiver Tree Forest Project which was established in 1997 is another nominee. Of the 100 trees planted, there are currently 805, and to date, 350 trees have been planted. The project has involved local communities, and guests can now adopt and plant a tree, closely monitored by the Gondwana Park team.
The Vilho family celebrated the birth of their daughters by planting a tree at Mediclinic and have since planted a tree on successive birthdays of each daughter, some at home, some at other institutions. With their pledge to continue the tradition until their daughters are 18 years old, the family has also been nominated for the award.
Then there is the Zilitene Community Forest – one of seven community forests in the Zambezi region. In 2022, community members were trained and collected 130 kg of seeds from 17 indigenous tree species. In 2023 some of the seeds were planted at a recently completed nursery in Zilitene Community Forest. The seedlings will be transplanted in degraded lands and the Kwena Combined School
The final nomination goes to the Havana High School in Windhoek. During the development and building of new school buildings, two trees were saved from being destroyed. These trees have been nurtured, well looked after and are thriving.
The awards start at 19:00 at the National Botanical Research Institute in Orban Street. For more info, send an email to [email protected]