Long-time Wilderness Travel safari guide Sebastian Chuwa is replanting the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro one seedling at a time. This year alone he has collected more than 1 million seeds with the help of women’s and school groups and villagers from Makuyuni, Tanzania. Supported by the Africa Blackwood Conservation Project, Chuwa and the groups have started about 500,000 mpingo (African blackwood) and other seedlings in 2012. These will be distributed to schools in Tanzania that will nurture them to adulthood.
Chuwa, who grew up in the Kilimanjaro region, has been studying environmental problems and organizing communities to fight for sustainability for more than 30 years. In 2003, Rolex Awards named him an associate laureate for his conservation work. Chuwa says, “It pains me to see the environment of my own country being destroyed by forces which could have been, and can be, controlled by man himself. I realized that through education the situation can be alleviated. Environmental efforts will only succeed in my country if environmental education is targeted at a grassroots level — from primary schools onward.”
When Chuwa isn’t busy reforesting Kilimanjaro, he can often be found leading WT’s Serengeti Wildlife Safari.
–Story by Jennica Peterson, WT Photo Blog Editor