Forests are the lungs of Mother Earth. Trees purify the atmosphere, releasing vast amounts of oxygen - which we need to breathe - and absorbing and holding vast amounts of carbon dioxide - which we exhale. Deforestation is a real threat to our world. Chopping down Forests has a debilitating effect on the whole world, as part of Mother Earth's lungs get removed. The Plant Kingdom is such a precious gift from the Creator, to us all here, with out which, we could not survive. From Flowers, to Herbs, to Grasses, to Forests. The Natural world is alive with beauty and power. I provide sacred healing Nature walks and ceremonies, aimed to help humanity to reconnect with themselves. And awaken the due gratitude necessary....we have so much to be grateful for; grateful for the things our Earth gives us; grateful for the trees who give us our breath.

Please email shelley@spiritworldmedicine.co.za should you wish to become involved in this beautiful healing work.

''Each of us has a sacred responsibility because of the special gift we have beyond the fine gifts of the plant life, the fish, the woodlands, the birds and all other living things on Earth.
Our special gift is that we are able to take care of them.''
Audrey Shenandoah.

Adopt Plant a Tree Initiative for South Africa

The vision for the Adopt/Plant a Tree Initiative in September 2006, at the Common, Noordhoek, Cape Town, resulted in members of the public joining together to plant 100 trees, for the 'raising of humanity's consciousness and the healing of our Earth'.It was shortly after this tree planting exercise which I had organised, that from prayer, I was gifted with a vision from the Creator; a vision which revealed to me in 2006,an action which seemed almost impossible to imagine and quite overwhelming to think how it could be. The vision showed me - the planting of one million trees throughout South Africa, and with all the work I do, I have come to know over and over again, the Creator IS the miracle.This vision which I shared with the South African Government division, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry was accepted and one million trees have now been planted throughout South Africa.

I became aware of a decision regarding our Table Mountain Forests, which was to remove the 'alien' trees there, from the foothills of our Table Mountain areas.This was most concerning to me and so I became involved in this cause to bring awareness of this situation to the public and I joined groups comprised of conservationists and of public members, where we tried to halt such action in our lands. As with all that I do I prayed for guidance to know, if anything could be done. To date, we held the action of clear -fell, back for 4 years. But we have now, officially lost this battle. Clear -fell has now begun.
Here are some facts about this situation....

Cape Town Table Mountain Forests.

The real motive behind the clear-fell project is PROFIT over R850million which is the profit gleened from the sale of our plantation Pine Forest trees.
And beyond this point, is the fact that there was a decision more than 4 years ago, to officially CLOSE THE FORESTRY DIVISION in Western Cape- a fact kept hidden from the public, until it recently leaked out.
So, thus this yields a 'saving' in terms of those salaries no longer needing to be paid once the Forestry division would no longer exist and evidence is now obvious when we now find since March 2010, trees officially now come under the division of Agriculture. Interesting. The decision to officially close our Foresty division, therefore justifies the requirement to clear-fell our forests. The wood of the forests, is not even being utilised within our own country, South Africa. No. The wood has been sold to countries in the East, Taiwan being one such country.
The continued use by the authorities to call our Pine forest a ''PLANTATION'' whist this was appropriate in the past, where harvesting and replanting of trees is the natural cycle with plantations world-wide, once the authorities had taken the decision to officially close the Forestry division in the Western Cape, the word 'plantation' should have been altered, or at least the words ''clear fell'' should have been stated clearly upon notices at and around the Forested areas to notify the public accordingly, and yet to date, no such words have been presented. The continued use of the word plantation to date, tends to suggests to the public that the authorities are merely harvesting which is normal procedure for plantations, and that the authorities will continue to plant trees.
But this is not the case AT ALL.It is clear-fell with no plan whatsoever to replant the Forest trees, as there is no Forestry division to manage the Forests of Cape Town any more.

One of the main reasons the authorities and their conservationists, stated in their defence regarding the removal of our Forests, was that the trees were alien to our lands.I find it an interesting term for trees which have been growing here since the late 1800's, well over one hundred years. The point is, the majority of trees which grow throughout our Cape Town area, if one looks around our environment here, what is discovered is that most of the trees which are growing here, are all alien.The clear - fell operation of our forests of Pine has begun, and this action of alien removal has also included the removal of some Oak trees, Blue Gums, Yellow Woods. Does this mean the authorities will remove ALL alien trees throughout our lands, because that would mean a Cape Town of hardly ANY trees.How very sad. And the truth is, we need trees and once they are gone, these majestic trees, some of which have been here for over 300 years; once they are felled,they are gone for ever. It takes a good 30 years before a tree 'starts' to become a substantial size.
Our green life especially Forests,need to remain, to be protected and to be looked after because of the huge benefits they provide for us and all the life associated in these places where the trees grow, plus all the recreational activities which we Capetonians have enjoyed for so many years - Forests are part of our culture and way of life here, even if it is just from a scenic point of view - all of this Forest / tree world which we have had for hundreds of years here, is simply to be be terminated.
The actual area in which these specific Pine Forest trees are currently growing, covers such a small space at the foothills of our Table Mountain range, I believe the actual Forest space, covers an area less than 2% of the total Table Mountain Park area.
The battle which flared over the past four years between those who supported trees and those who supported fynbos, instead of the authorities finding a middle road between these 2 opposing groups, statements which were made by the authorities tended to fuel further questions from public members and more aggressive responses from some extremist conservationists, including remarks like ''the decision has already been made to clear-fell the trees and that land is to be dedicated to fynbos''. ''No trees will be replanted there''. This became a wild fight over the following 4 years. Why could there not be a place for trees and fynbos? Why did all the Forest trees have to be removed? The extreme fanatical behaviour from some conservationists who supported the removal of these 'alien' trees, shocked us public members and other conservationists too. Generally, while conservationists are certainly passionate about their causes, the aggressive action and conversations exchanged from these extremists over the time, was something else, and very unpleasant to observe.
It did not make sense to any of us, that is until it was discovered that the Forestry division was closing; no wonder the decision was to clear-fell, no wonder some of the conservationists were in support of this move. To me, though,I wondered was there anything more that fuelled their individual fanaticism? Did they perhaps gain financially if they supported the Forest removal? The authorities have said and stated over and over, that the land now cleared of trees would not be sold for development. I wonder if this is the truth.

Each and every decision we make with our environment, as the people of our world, here in South Africa and in all countries across the globe, needs to be founded upon a more holistic, balanced approach and each case needs to be looked at individually. Not all alien vegetation is pernicious, some alien trees are extremely pernicious and I support the clearing of those trees but our Pine Forests, Oaks, Blue Gums,Yellow Woods are not and one hundred years is a long time to now say 'clear-fell' to them all, especially in these times of drastic global climatic change.

I asked the question regarding alien vegetation pertaining to the decision by our authorities to remove alien vegetation from our lands here, does that now include the removal of all our Cape wine farms? Because viticulture is alien to our South African lands. Well of course not! So alien is alien only when it suits the authorities and profit is really the motive, and its not actually about if a plant is alien or not. How cleaver to twist the point when that suits!

Everything we do, affects everything around us. And yet, money will not be able to buy us the precious gift of clean Air, without which we cannot exist.

Please visit www.coolforests.org.za which provides extensive details covering this Forest situation. Well worth the read!

Please view Our Tree Honouring Ceremony which served as closure for us all.

Report: Inga Strydom, Constantiaberg Bulletin, Cape Community Newspapers, Independent Newspapers (Cape).

''All of Nature is within us, and we inturn are all part of Nature.''
'Native American wisdom.