Urban-rural contrasts in Arbor Week in South Africa

Guthrie, G. and Shackleton, C.M. (2006) Urban-rural contrasts in Arbor Week in South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 102 (1 & 2). pp. 14-18. ISSN 0038-2353




Trees provide people with environmental benefits. Greening projects have been implemented worldwide, but many of them have frustratingly low participation levels. In South Africa, tree-planting campaigns such as the national Arbor Week are generally aimed at schools. Because of the remoteness of rural schools, there are urban / rural disparities in standards of education, infrastructure and support provided at schools, and hence we hypothesized that these disparities would be mirrored in tree-planting activities associated with national Arbor Week. In the study reported here, 236 urban and rural schools were assessed by means of postal surveys and subsampled via direct interviews, as to their participation in Arbor Week activities, the provision of trees, constraints to participation, and the perceived benefits of planting trees. Very few urban schools had never participated in any Arbor Week activities, whereas one-fifth of rural ones had never participated in any way. Urban schools participated in a greater number of Arbor Week activities than rural schools, including tree-planting, displaying posters and having speeches. Thus, overall information about Arbor Week is lacking in rural areas compared to urban ones. Rural schools derived more benefits from planting trees, with shade and education being the primary benefits overall. Rural schools were supplied with trees by NGOs, whereas urban schools received trees from individual or company donations. The major constraints to tree-planting are livestock damage, water shortages, vandalism and theft. These obstacles need to be addressed in a holistic fashion in order to improve the participation and success of National Arbor Week as a vehicle for tree-planting and environmental awareness.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Research in Action
Uncontrolled Keywords:Greening projects; National Arbor Week; South Africa; tree-planting; schools; participation; vandalism; livestock damage; environmental awareness
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Environmental Science
ID Code:346
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:16 Oct 2006
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:17
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