Tree Planting Initiatives
Collectively we plant just ten per cent of the trees that we fell, burn or slash. This seems to be beyond reckless as trees support our lifestyles in a variety of ways, and most importantly when we breathe out and they breathe in; they breathe out and we can thus breathe in.
So many of our modern practices mean that the trees are in danger - we chop down forests so that we can breed cattle for beef, to plant palm oil plantations, to plant tea crops, to build houses, to burn as firewood, to make furniture, and we lose forests to fire, theft and disease.
When the trees leave, poverty, and drought move in. What Can We Learn From Trees? looks at all that trees give us. However, with a population that is rising at an alarming rate, who will need increasing quantities of wood to heat food and houses, built shelters and homes, and land to farm on, forests almost everywhere are threatened.
There are so many tree planting initiatives going on around the world today, which is really good news for the planet! The most ambitious one is beginning to happen across several countries in Africa, and is called the Great Green Wall of Africa, as depicted in the picture below.
Many organisations and charities are involved in this huge scheme, and the idea behind it is to prevent the spread of the desert in the region. It also aims to improve the livelihoods of many communities along the wall by providing work and all the benefits that planting trees brings to an area - see Why Trees? for more information on how trees are beneficial.
More than 20 countries are combining their resources to finance and implement the project. It is difficult to guess how many people this project will eventually derive help from this initiative, but even ten years after the completion of the project, much may have changed for the better. At over 4000 miles long and nine miles wide, it will travel through 11 different countries and they will be planting native drought loving plants that are most likely to survive in that environment. Thank you to newsbox.unccd.int for the picture.
When trees are planted on land that used to forested, as the saplings grow and provide shade, a natural phenomena begins to happen. Seeds and roots that may have lain dormant for decades begin to grow as the top soil becomes fertile and shaded. As the trees grow, other plants can begin to flourish in the protection of the trees.
A whole new eco system is brought to life. There is much hope that this enormous tree planting initiative will begin to slow the encroachment of the desert, and also bring life back to the area that is planted.
Planting trees is such a rewarding and enjoyable pastime that is also of utmost importance to our long term survival strategy. Wherever you can, get involved in a local project, or travel to Africa and help us with ours!
Tree Planting Holidays will be planting a million trees in Africa and offering accommodation to those who would like to come and plant them with us- take a look round the website to find out more about what we are planning. You are more than welcome to come and join us!
The Tree Planting Holiday Team.
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