By Sharon Mazingaizo
A Zimbabwean community-led forestry restoration project, “My Trees Trust/Miti Yangu”, has been selected as rock band Coldplay’s conservation partner.
Coldplay announced a new world tour and has an associated range of initiatives designed to create positive environmental impact. The British band’s “Music of the Spheres” world tour aims to reduce carbon emissions by powering the show from bicycles and electricity-producing dancefloors, building sets from bamboo and planting a tree for every ticket sold.
The My Trees Trust was among those selected as one of the group’s conservation partners.
“We’re proud to support My Trees Trust/Miti Yangu in Zimbabwe.
The leader of the group, Chris Martin, spent most of his youth in Harare, Zimbabwe, his mother’s birth country. This community-led project will protect a vast new area of wilderness, support the regeneration of forest and provide a habitat for critically threatened wildlife,” the band said on its website.
Zimbabwe is the largest producer of tobacco in Africa and, as a result, is facing tobacco-led deforestation. An estimated 330 000 ha of indigenous woodland are lost every year in rural Zimbabwe to agriculture, with 60 000 ha lost due to tobacco production.
My Trees Trust has planted 79 600 trees with 120 000 ha under its management, while working with local communities in the country. The aim of the initiative is to “replant, restore and protect indigenous forest across the country”.
My Trees Trust said: “We are delighted to have been selected as Coldplay’s conservation partner for their upcoming tour.
“This is the start of a partnership that will see the restoration and protection of hundreds of thousands of hectares of Zimbabwe’s precious remaining woodlands. Coldplay’s contribution will be deployed across our conservation and tree planting portfolios – creating quality jobs for rural Zimbabweans, protecting habitat and re-opening vital wildlife corridors.
“While the scale of the problem facing ecosystems across the world is daunting, partnerships like these offer hope that we can find a path towards a brighter, more sustainable future for all of us.”
Coldplay’s 30-date ecologically friendly world tour begins in Costa Rica in March 2022, and will travel to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the US, several countries in Europe and the United Kingdom, finishing in Brazil.