The One Earth Project Marketplace funds on-the-ground climate solutions that are key to solving the climate crisis through three pillars of collective action — renewable energy, nature conservation, and regenerative agriculture. This project protects essential pollinators and restores habitats while uplifting local communities.
In Zimbabwe's Gokwe District, smallholder farmers are grappling with a formidable challenge. With low rainfall making dryland cropping unsuitable, they have resorted to clearing land at an alarming rate to grow drought-tolerant crops.
However, these unsustainable farming practices and rampant deforestation are wreaking havoc on the environment, leaving pollinator species without nesting sites and food. Survival now hinges on their ability to adapt to this rapidly changing habitat.
Preserving and restoring crucial forest habitats
But there is hope. Amidst these daunting circumstances, an ambitious endeavor seeks to provide a sanctuary for essential pollinator species unable to adapt to the ever-shifting landscape.
Through close collaboration with local communities, this project from Research & Education for Sustainable Practices will work towards preserving the remaining forest and restoring 30 hectares of land by planting a minimum of 5,000 native trees, shrubs, and flowers.
The power to save other species and become a seed bank
The project site is poised to transform an area ideally suited for wildlife production, harboring unique tree species like the Triplochiton zambesicus, which are on the brink of extinction. It holds immense potential to become a seed bank for native trees and flowers, preserving natural heritage while offering essential climate mitigation services.
Creating opportunities for women and the community
A key aspect of the project lies in empowering local women. By employing them in native tree nursery establishment, management, and tree planting, this initiative creates opportunities for skill development and economic empowerment.
Furthermore, the project will collaborate with the forest commission and agricultural extension officers to raise community awareness about the significance of forest preservation. Partnerships with universities interested in native tree and pollinator research will enhance conservation practices and drive innovation.
The local and global benefits of saving pollinators
The positive impact of this project extends far and wide. By actively involving local women in nursery establishment and tree planting, they will gain valuable skills and expertise.
Moreover, the conservation of pollinators will have a direct and significant effect on crop production within the surrounding communities, bolstering food security and improving livelihoods.
In addition to enhancing crop yields, the preservation of pollinators will also play a crucial role in reproducing remnant natural forests. These forests provide a sanctuary for diverse plant and animal species and offer a rich array of non-timber forest products that sustain local communities.
Lastly, the forest's role in climate change mitigation cannot be overstated. As it flourishes under care, it will act as a powerful ally in the battle against climate change. Through its ability to clean the air and filter water, the forest will provide essential ecosystem services to nearby communities, enhancing their quality of life and well-being.
A lasting legacy connecting people to nature
This project also carries a long-term vision. As the forest flourishes under protection, it will serve as a living testament to the wonders of pollinators and biodiversity and provide educational opportunities for schools, colleges, and individuals.
Additionally, the forest will open its doors for recreational activities that harmonize with the environment, allowing the local community to experience the myriad benefits of conservation.
With support, these transformative outcomes will become a reality. Saving pollinators can make a lasting difference in countless individuals' lives and the Earth’s health.