Trees for Life, Ethiopian and UK partners

  • Collaborators: Sylvia Grace Borda, Climate Artist and Strategist and J Keith Donnelly, Creative Climate Artist, Dundee City Council (Scotland), Rural Organization for Betterment of Agro-pastoralists (Ethiopia) and Institute for Sustainable Horticulture (Canada)
  • Climate change theme: Biodiversity
  • Locations: Kofele, Ethiopia

Trees for Life is a horticultural, visual arts and earth observation project to show how trees can help us tackle climate change.  Community farmers are creating native African tree nurseries for sustainable living, and school children are making plant graffiti visible from space. Local stories are being captured and shared on the Africa Storybook website. The project creatively uses art and storytelling to sustain and experience trees – not only from the ground but from the air.

Trees for Life has already led to the development of a successful tree nursery in Kofele for the benefit of indigenous farmer-herders or agro-pastoralists in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. This part of the project is starting to help increase tree density around local town sites, as well as creating new jobs.

What’s also been most unexpected from the ‘Trees for Life’ Ethiopia-UK-Canada project has been a set of digital teaching tools that now forms Scotland’s (and possibly the world’s) first virtual civic park system. 

By attempting to illustrate how even small tree verges can contain a wealth of biodiversity for project partners, the artists started digitally documenting what was nearby. The trees and parks of Dundee city offered a good wealth of subjects from tree saplings to mature trees. Using a variety of cameras capturing these urban spaces and greenbelt zones to form what is fondly being called Dundee’s Internet of Nature.

GO explore this e-park system! See the full e-co park system at Internet of Nature

This project creates 24/7 online accessibility for citizens local to across the globe to have an opportunity to explore Dundee’s park systems through the eyes of some of its famous non-human resident users – including foxes, birds, and hares, to name a few. These ‘ground view’ perspectives of the parks can be startling but offers viewers other ways to map, see, explore, and think about Dundee’s city parks.

At COP26

Open-air art exhibition at Dundee’s Slessor Gardens, 29 October 2021 - January 2022

24 outdoor panels available to the public 24/7 in the Dundee Central Waterfront (three-min walk from the new whale and V&A Dundee). This is part of Dundee's own COP26 events.

Outdoor Evening projection | COP26 Dundee, 2-12 November 17.30-19.30 GMT

located at Whitehall House, Yeaman Shore, Dundee DD1 4BJ, United Kingdom (near Dundee rail station entrance, V&A and Slessor Gardens)

Public Dundee COP26 Trees for Life engagement days at WellGate Public Library, 3-4 November, 10.30 - 18.00 GMT

with J.Keith Donnelly and special presentation lecture also with 'Darning the Planet' co-operative, Mexico

Launch of the Ethiopian Lion Land Art1
Launch of the Ethiopian Lion Land Art1

External links