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Konica Minolta South Africa, FTFA continue to honour Madiba’s legacy

Konica Minolta South Africa, in collaboration with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), has continued honouring former president Nelson Mandela’s legacy, by donating an additional 200 trees to be planted on Robben Island and 200 to Madiba’s birthplace, Mvezo in the Eastern Cape.

“Despite a tough year for South Africa and the globe, our team at Konica Minolta South Africa are committed to maintaining our dedication to implementing comprehensive, sustainable environmental initiatives. These initiatives not only reduce the company’s environmental impact, but also enhance the livelihoods of surrounding communities, and are vital for community development during difficult times”, says Ritchi Smith, marketing manager at Konica Minolta SA.

FTFA has worked with Konica Minolta SA for more than a decade, planting more than 51,398 trees since 2008 and offsetting a remarkable 18,966 tons of carbon dioxide. Last year the partnership planted 101 trees together with the Robben Island Museum, commemorating what would have been Madiba’s 101st birthday.

An island with a unique ecology

Robben Island is a World Heritage Site for historic reasons; however, it also has a unique ecology. Over the years it has become degraded as alien invasive tree species have edged out indigenous trees.

“Over the past 300 years, Robben Island’s landscape has been extensively modified as exotic shrubs and trees have been introduced,” explains Morongoa Ramaboa, communications cpecialist, Robben Island Museum. Robben Island has a “sensitive” coastal ecosystem with many indigenous bird species.

“As such, planting indigenous trees will help to support the natural ecosystem functions and help the many species to stabilise and thrive on the island,” says Ramaboa.

Indigenous trees to remember Madiba

At the request of the museum and with the support of Konica Minolta SA, FTFA continues to plant indigenous trees, such as milkwood, sand olive, water berry, dune crowberry, wild peach and Kei apples.

“By clearing invasive aliens and in planting more than 10,000 indigenous trees over the next five years, we aim to create a sustainable habitat that can be home to seabirds, especially endangered African penguins, and the many other unique species that form part of the island’s landscape,” says Ramaboa.

Konica Minolta SA together with our whole team believe in enhancing and protecting our South African environment in a meaningful way. We need to ensure a legacy for future generations, and trees do just that, offering a multitude of benefits for a community or eco-system, concludes Ritchi Smith, “After all, it was Madiba who said, [there are] ‘wild places that we should protect, as a precious heritage for our children and for our children’s children. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect the environment’.”

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