500 signatures reached
To: Antonio Guterres
Save the Shea Nut Tree
I am Mustafa Gerima, based in Northern Uganda's Yumbe town. The past years have seen wanton deforestation of the Shea Nut butter trees in my community. This propelled me into becoming an activist from a biology teacher in my district to protect these trees as they are listed as vulnerable in the IUCN list.
Known as Kumara in our local dialect, it is a massive part of my community's identity. We use it as baby oil, medicine, nutritious fruit, and oil for cooking. It has also sustained us for generations as fuel as my ancestors used it only for domestic purposes.
Trees are cut down by individuals from outside my community which are then sold as charcoal in bulk for commercial purposes. This has led to the drastic reduction in the Shea nut tree in my community. In August 2019, I decided to walk to Kampala, trekking over 520kms to the Ugandan Parliament to raise awareness of the tree's plight.
We need to take urgent meaningful action to conserve the Shea Nut tree; I am asking for the following:
The Shea Nut Tree is declared our national tree, a vital part of our indigenous heritage.
That our indigenous knowledge be used to mitigate climate change
Take action against deforestation whilst ensuring alternatives for fuel are made affordable and available in nearby communities.
Empower communities by buying shea products - this will help my community gain an income, and the trees will be seen as a valuable commodity;
The establishment of Shea nut oil processing factories in the Shea belt gave the locals market for selling the Shea nuts to the factory and, hence, more money they would have otherwise earned from cutting down the trees for charcoal business.
Why is this important?
It is an integral part of my community. In the fight against climate change, it is so vital that we look at solutions that benefit us all.
How it will be delivered
Physical handover. NB:- We will be following all Covid-19 safety measures.