Landscape restoration is a new concept in Tanzania but is growing rapidly, thanks to the Tanzanian government committing in August to restoring 5.2 million hectares of degraded and deforested land. The commitment is part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), a country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa by 2030, which contributes to a wider initiative (The Bonn Challenge) to restores 350 million hectares globally.
Recognising the efforts towards landscape restoration, Lameck Kiula, an activist, changer maker and Raleigh alumnus, decided to enter a competition of the Global Landscape Forum that encourages young people to share their visions and dreams for restoring Africa’s degraded landscapes through photos and videos.
Lameck submitted a photo of the Tarangire river that he took at Tarangire National Park in Arusha. Because of human activities such as farming, the river is now running dry, threatening both people and animals living in and the national park who depend on the river for their livelihoods and survival. His concern for the river urged him to submit the photo to raise awareness on the effects of overpopulation and how it is affecting the river.
Lameck’s photo was selected from more than 400 photos submitted to the competition from different areas of Africa. The winning photo was then used as the theme photo for the Global Landscape Forum conference, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of August.
Lameck and Rose Mmbaga, who is also an award-winning activist and Raleigh Alumnus, were invited to attend the youth programme and the conference in Nairobi that is bringing young people from different profession sphere to foster community support for the Africa Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) Initiative to restore 100 million hectares of degraded landscape by 2030.
‘The conference was a huge platform for me and other young leaders to discuss and build on the momentum to offer emerging solid action plans for tackling deforestation and land degradation challenges in Africa,’ Lameck commented.
Lameck’s work towards climate action aligns with Raleigh Tanzania Society project, called Youth for Green Growth (Y4GG) which aimed to help create an enabling environment for youth-led action to promote green growth – economic and social development in harmony with the environment. Lameck also participated in this project, where his zone planted 6,500 trees in Mwanza, Geita, Simiyu and Mwanza.
As part of his action plan to continue promoting awareness about landscape restoration, Lameck Kiula and Rose Mmbaga have produced a video about other young Africans have participated in restoration movements in countries like Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
The video is part of a larger effort to raise awareness of the effects of climate change and show the benefits of involving young Tanzanians in landscape restoration.
Words by Maria Kwirine
Edited by Jessica Rowbury