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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

UFS academic appointed as Visiting Fellow at Cornell University
2007-11-12

Prof. Frans Swanepoel, Director of Research Development at the University of the Free State (UFS), was appointed as a Visiting Fellow at the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) at Cornell University in the United States of America. He has been invited to spend the second semester of 2008 at Cornell, where he will co-teach a Ph.D. course on International Agricultural Development, focusing on agriculture in Africa. In addition, his research programme will include the revision of agricultural education curricula for the development and commercialisation of smallholder family farms in Africa. In this regard, he will liaise with the newly established Centre for Africa Studies at the UFS. Prof. Swanepoel is also an Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture at the UFS, and Adjunct-Professor in Development Studies at the University of Fort Hare. Earlier this year, he was commissioned by the national Ministry of Agriculture to prepare a cabinet memorandum on the role of rural women in agriculture in preparation for the Fourth World Conference on Rural Women, held in Durban during April 2007.
Photo: Supplied
 

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