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Environmental “Trees for Africa” Appeal Launched 4 August 2005

    Minister for Local Government and the Environment, John Rimington, MHK has launched a new appeal for Isle of Man residents to help plant trees in Africa and on the Island, just by recycling their aluminium cans and foil.

    The ‘Trees for Africa’ campaign follows on from last year’s ‘Trees for Cans’ initiative which saw native trees, donated by the Woodland Trust, planted on the Island. This year ALUPRO, the aluminium recycling organisation, is encouraging everyone to recycle as for every tonne of aluminium packaging recycled, a tree will be grown in Africa and the UK until September 2006. The target is 50,000 trees!

    Mr Rimington said,

    “Trees breathe life into the world. In rural Africa there are even more reasons why trees are important, as they improve soil quality as well as providing shelter, food and income for many very poor families. It is so easy for people to be involved by just placing their aluminium drinks cans and foil in the recycling banks The more that is recycled, the more trees that will be planted”.

    In the sub-Saharan dryland Burkina Faso area of Africa, soil erosion, bush fires, firewood cutting and clearance for agriculture are all threats to the sustainability of the ancient Gabio Forest, and the five village communities it supports. This new scheme, which is sponsored by Alupro, a not-for-profit industry organisation, in partnership with Tree Aid, means that people on the Isle of Man can help the project achieve its environmental aims and at the same time help our own environment. The new trees will be grown from seed in special nurseries as part of a forest management programme. Species have been chosen for their food and medicinal uses - mango, cashew, baobab and acacia - and also because their flowers encourage the production of honey which is sold in local markets to generate much-needed income.

    The tree-planting appeal has been started to boost aluminium recycling, which saves up to 95% of the energy needed to make new metal, each and every time it is returned for melting. As new cans are often back on the shelf just six weeks after you recycle the old ones, the energy savings quickly mount up.

    “This appeal is an environmental winner” said Mr Rimington, ‘If everyone gets into the habit of recycling aluminium, we can grow even more than the 50,000 trees we’re hoping for, as well as making the massive long-term energy savings which are available.”

    4th August 2005

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