The Anglican Church of Burundi (EAB) has been awarded a Certificate of Merit from the government’s environment ministry for its ongoing tree-planting campaign. Over the past ten years, more than 12 million trees have been planted as part of EAB’s commitment to preserve the environment. In December 2016, the EAB revealed it had set a “One Person, One Tree” goal – a five-year commitment to plant a tree for each one of Burundi’s 10 million-strong population.
Last month, the EAB revealed that it had so far planted 1.5 million trees on public and community land, with the support of Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) and Norwegian Church Aid. The announcement was made on Tree Day, which focused on the need to protect forests for sustainable sources of energy.
“Forests in Burundi are an important resource as they produce fire wood for energy and furniture that is used by a major part of the population,” the EAB said. “In every diocese disaster committees have been set up to work with community groups to prepare tree nurseries and work towards environment protection.
The EAB’s campaign includes supporting communities to cover hills and mountains with trees, protecting land against soil erosion by digging trenches, encouraging agro-forestry, providing water sources and protecting lakes and rivers.
The government’s Certificate of Merit was presented to the Primate of Burundi, Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho , and his predecessor, Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Ntahoturi, who was making a visit to Burundi from his current base in Italy, where he is the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.