Bloomberg Philanthropies reviews FreetownTheTreeTown  

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 June 2024:

A 4-person team from Bloomberg Philanthropies and their Global Mayor’s Challenge implementing partner delivery associates, were in Freetown from Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th June, as part of their visits to all 15 cities around the world that won the Bloomberg Global Mayor’s Challenge.

Commenting on the visit, Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr said: “As a winning city, we were thrilled to receive them. The visit was very busy but extremely productive. There were hours of meetings with FCC management and the FreetownTheTreeTown project team during which the Bloomberg team received detailed updates on the project status and progress against the agreed delivery plan and milestones. This included progress with securing a carbon developer and the localization of the tree tracker digital platform.

“The visit was a great opportunity to hold a FreetownTheTreeTown donor roundtable – introducing the Bloomberg team to the two World Bank project teams (RUSLP and PSSNYE) that have been the largest funders of the 977,000 trees planted to date and the additional 300,000 trees that will be planted from this week. CRS, a direct tree donor and project partner, was also present at the roundtable.

“A FreetownTheTreeTown Town Hall meeting was held on is community centered so on Thursday 13th June. With the active participation of representatives of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), tribal heads, school children, testimonies of impact from tree growers and a very entertaining but thought-provoking skit, the Town Hall brought to life the significant and positive impact of FreetownTheTreeTown on communities across the city.

“Perhaps the highlight of the Bloomberg team visit was the hike up to the Botanical Gardens where we have planted and track 18,700 trees and also seeing firsthand the 80,000 mangroves that have been planted at Congo Town with CRS. In a practical demonstration of the FreetownTheTreeTown process, the Bloomberg team members each planted a tree and uploaded a photo of their trees onto our digital platform using the tree tracker app!

“Bloomberg and World Bank funding supports the sustainability of FreetownTheTreeTown project and contributes to the creation of an additional 1,187 direct jobs that will come on stream from next month for an initial period of a year.

“FreetownTheTreeTown is planting and growing trees to stabilize slopes, reduce the risks of landslides, protect water catchments, restore biodiversity and ecological systems but it is also *transforming lives by creating jobs.”


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