Tree Aid has raised a grand total of £638,091 to fund new work to tackle the effects of deforestation in the midst of the climate crisis, with support from the UK public and match funding from the UK government.
The UK government matched all public donations to the She Grows appeal through UK Aid Match between 1 April and 30 June this year.
The humanitarian and environmental charity exceeded its fundraising target and can now fund a three-year project in Mali to give one thousand women the tools and training they need to save and replant their local forest, and earn a sustainable living from trees.
Zoë Wanamaker, who has supported the appeal, said: “Thank you so much to everyone who donated to Tree Aid’s appeal. I have been a patron for over 20 years and I know that it changes people’s lives.
The actress added: "The new She Grows project will empower one thousand women in Mali, who are adversely affected by climate change, to lift themselves out of poverty. It is about helping people to help themselves.”
The news is a glimmer of hope following the new landmark report from the world’s leading climate science organisations, launched at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September.
The report demonstrated that the last five years are on track to be the warmest of any equivalent period on record, and widespread heatwaves, record-breaking fires and other devastating events such as floods and drought have had major impacts on socio-economic development and the environment. This is felt most acutely by those living in poverty.
John Moffett, the chief executive of Tree Aid, said: “People in the drylands of Africa are among the most vulnerable in the world to the effects of climate change.
"Women especially depend on the land to feed their families and support their children, but a vicious cycle of deforestation, climate change and land degradation is making their lives more difficult. Thankfully, trees offer hope and a practical solution to the climate crisis."
He added: “We are so grateful to everyone who supported our appeal and we are looking forward to helping one thousand women to transform their lives and environment at this very critical time.”
The She Grows appeal raised £343,542 from the UK public and, with match funding from the UK government, reached a grand total of £638,091.
Alok Sharma, the International Development Secretary, said: “I am delighted the UK government has matched the British public’s generous donations to Tree Aid’s She Grows appeal.
“This money will reverse some of the devastating impacts of deforestation in Mali by providing women with the tools and training they need to replant their local forest.”
The match funding from the UK Government will be used to fund the new Tree Aid project in Mali. Donations from the UK public will fund similar work, helping communities across the drylands of Africa to grow their way out of poverty.
Marianne Brooker is The Ecologist's content editor. This article is based on a press release from Tree Aid.