The Bwindi Tree Planting Craft Association
Bwindi tree planting project is a sister project to Bwindi Batwa Rock Association and was initiated three years ago around the settlement of the Batwa (Pygmy) tribe on the lands bordering the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. It started through the vision of Timothy (Managing Director of Bwindi Batwa Rock) who saw many trees being cut down for timber and agricultural lands but were not being replaced. He wanted to start a tree planting program based on the need for conservation it this unique bio diverse habitat. Timothy purchased viable land around the settlement which bordered the National Park. The land was cleared but not in use which encouraged the founders to sought advice from their first Australian conservationist volunteer to select tree species which would support the surrounding environment and some which could also be used for timber in future. The tree planting project was started in June 2015 and native seedlings were sourced locally. The project directly supports the Batwa community who are believed to have been forest dwellers in the area for thousands of years up until 1991 when they were sent out of the forest for conservation of the forest.
The program is non-discriminatory to race, tribe or religion and engages 23 Batwa people and 10 local people who are technical overseers of the program. The project also calls for international volunteers who have a passion for conservation.
To plant native species for conservation and timber for use within the community.
To promote planting of native species of trees within the communities and to encourage school involvement.
To sensitise communities on conservation to alleviate global warming impacts by planting viable native species.
To engage conservation organisations on the great need for conservation around the communities surrounding Bwindi.
To increase native tree species outside the Bwindi forest to support habitats for native birds, mammals and insects.
To promote man made conservation forests for future learning.
To promote agrarian seasons throughout the year, especially where trees help moderate the wet season which supports the growing of local crops (tea, coffee, bananas, cassava, maize, cereal crops, beans, millet, sorghum)
To promote biodiversity conservation with the company's existing sister organisations.
To increase the native timber species grown which are not eucalyptus species as these are exotic and cause soil and water degradation.
To plant 1,000 tree seedlings in the June-July wet season and to setup nursery beds for another 6,000 seedling which will be planted in the October-November wet season in 2015. Every year seedlings will be grown and distributed within the surrounding communities.
To have a sustainable project through fundraising US$1,500 which will kick start the project and ensure continued nursery beds and planting in the future.
Mission statement of the project
To promote a sustainable conservational environment around Bwindi and the neighbouring communities through tree planting of native species for timber and community use and to increase the natural habitat for birds and other native animals.
Volunteers will be on the ground level planting trees, preparing nursery beds and monitoring previously planted seedlings. There are no volunteer fees associated with this program. Full board will be provided with a local family although some payment for food would be required to your host family (this will be negotiated with your host).