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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Eight from UFS elected to ASSAf
2012-09-05

Eight UFS academics have been elected as members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). They follow in the footsteps of seven colleagues who already were elected as members of the Academy.

The new members are Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic; Prof. Melanie Walker, Senior Professor; Prof. Ian Phimister, Senior Professor; Prof. Pumla Godobo-Madikizela, Senior Professor; Prof. Lodewyk Kock, Outstanding Professor; Prof. Hugh Patterton, Department of Biotechnology; Prof. Heidi Hudson, Department of Africa Studies and Prof. Odireleng Ntwaeaborwa, Department of Physics.

ASSAf was established in 1996 with the mission of using science for the benefit of society. New members are elected after nomination by four existing members (at least two of whom do so from personal knowledge of the candidate).

ASSAf has some 350 members and represents South Africa in the international community of science academies.

UFS academics who are already members of ASSAf are Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector; Prof. Johan Henning, Dean: Faculty of Law; Prof. Hendrik Swart, Physics; Prof. André Roodt, Chemistry; Prof. Zakkie Pretorius, Plant Sciences; Prof. Max Finkelstein, Mathematics; Prof. James du Preez, Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology; Prof. Maryke Labuschagne, Plant Sciences; and Prof. Neil Roos of our Postgraduate School.

Prof. Aldo Stroebel is a founding member of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), the youth branch of ASSAf. SAYAS seeks to provide a voice to young scientists on international issues that interface with science.
 

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