Picture 3 trillion trees. See? You can’t. We’d wager that none of us can see the forest or the trees at that rate. However, a recent study that mapped the world’s trees, including great swaths of forest in northern and equatorial regions, found that they totaled around 3 trillion. This is roughly seven and a half times more than previously estimated. However, according to recent mapping, these numbers still represent a 46 percent decline in worldwide tree population since the beginning of human life on Earth, as a release noted.
The researchers used satellite images, forest inventories and supercomputer technologies. They collected tree density information for more than 400,000 forests worldwide.
“Trees are among the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth, yet we are only recently beginning to comprehend their global extent and distribution,” Thomas Crowther, lead author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), said in a news release. “They store huge amounts of carbon, are essential for the cycling of nutrients, for water and air quality, and for countless human services. Yet you ask people to estimate, within an order of magnitude, how many trees there are and they don’t know where to begin. I don’t know what I would have guessed, but I was certainly surprised to find that we were talking about trillions.”
The federal government has said about 53 per cent of the total population of Nigerians are grossly affected by desertification even as 40% of the land mass in the north was taken up by deserts.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Nana Mede, disclosed this during a dinner held in Abuja with the State of Israel alongside the Ministry of Water Resources, to fashion out solutions to water and environmental challenges through collaborative efforts.
According to her, an effective management of the soil and efficient management of natural and ground resources would assist in overcoming the challenges posed by the environment to improve the agricultural potency of the north.
She said: “We have 53 per cent of Nigerians already being affected by the effects of desertification. If we are able to manage our soil and our lands very effectively, we will able to provide food and improve the livelihood of our people in the northern part of the country.”
Mede went further to attribute the lack of sufficient food and grazing lands as reasons behind most of the conflicts witnessed in the country.
“A lot of conflicts already exists because these farmers and cattle rearers have to find where to get food for their animals so they are migrating to the south.”
Timberland Plants Two Millionth Tree in China’s Horqin Desert as Part of Its Commitment to Protect The Outdoors
TONGLIAO, China, Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland today marked the planting of a total of two million trees in the Horqin Desert, a significant milestone in its ongoing program to tackle desertification in Inner Mongolia. This achievement is a key part of the company’s CSR efforts in Asia, and further demonstrates its continued commitment to protect, create and restore the outdoors and support the communities in which it operates.
In 2001, inspired by the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, one employee suggested that Timberland play a role in reforesting the Horqin Desert to help tackle the root cause of the sandstorms in her home country of Japan. As a result, Timberland formed a partnership with Green Network, a Japan-based non-profit organization. Fourteen years later, Timberland has contributed more than JPY 120 million (about CNY 6 million at current exchange rates) and 291 days of employee time to support the reforestation project.
“As an outdoor lifestyle brand, protecting and creating a more sustainable environment is not just a nice to have – it makes good business sense. That’s why we’re committed to the responsible design and manufacture of all our products, as well as making the places where we live and work more sustainable,” said John Gearing, Vice President and Managing Director of Timberland & Sportswear, Asia Pacific. “Today’s major achievement of planting two million trees in Horqin signifies our continued commitment to protect the outdoors, not just in the short term, but for future generations.”
Mrs. Nana Fatima Mede, PS Federal Ministry of Environment, Emir of Daura Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar and Goni Ahmed, DG, NAGGW during an advocacy visit to the emir in Daura recently Photo: Obadiah Bulus
‘GGW a vital tool to fight poverty, desertification’
By Alex Abutu & Larai Daze
Mrs Nana Fatima Mede, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Environment has called on Nigerians especially those in the north to support the implementation of the Great Green Wall as it has the potentials of reducing poverty and stopping desertification.
Mede said during an advocacy visit to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar with the Director General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall, Mr Goni Ahmed that the project was conceived by African Heads of States as a means of solving one of Africa’s major challenges which is desertification.
“The project is implemented in Katsina and 10 other frontline states to assist in the fight against desertification, so it is important that the people support the project as they will be the beneficiaries at the end,” she said.
She also urged the Emir to educate the residents on the need to avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse on flood plain said that the annual flood experienced in the Daura was as a result of absences of drainages, blocked water ways and building on flood plains.
Oscar Dong, a local farmers group leader in northern Ghana. Farming trials were established on his land and he is anticipating excellent yields from improved crop varieties (photo credit: Africa RISING/ Charlie Pye-Smith).
On the trail of adoption data: Africa RISING embarks on study to evaluate use of improved technologies in northern Ghana
In preparation for a study to monitor adoption of Africa RISING technologies in northern Ghana, the West Africa project team recently trained (from 29 July – 2 August 2015) field enumerators and supervisors who will be involved in data collection during the study.
Led by the Africa RISING project agricultural economist, Bekele Kotu, the study, which will start in August 2015 until April 2016, is seeking to establish how and to what extent farmers are using technologies introduced by Africa RISING.
More than 460 randomly selected households in 16 Africa RISING intervention communities will be involved in the study which will interview household heads and family members. The surveyed households are selected randomly from 3,151 farm households in Africa RISING intervention areas in northern Ghana.
by: Tiina Vahanen, Associate Secretary-General, XIV World Forestry Congress
When the world’s foresters and forest supporters come together for the XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa, in September, they will have a unique opportunity to highlight the urgent need to give forests credit for the true value they provide.
Increasingly, the role that forests play in mitigating climate change is being publicly recognized, and governments and companies alike are pledging to reduce deforestation and restore forests. But we must not lose sight of the fact that more than a billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, or that the continued, sustainable use of the world’s forests is vital for rural development.
Decreasing deforestation is not enough: we also need to commit to increasing investment in forests, both to ensure their role as a renewable source of forest products and as a means to lift rural populations out of poverty. Countries need to recognize and strengthen the multiple ways in which forests contribute to national economies, putting a price on the sometimes invisible, non-cash benefits that forests provide for people’s livelihoods, food, shelter and energy needs. Moreover, committing resources to developing and sharing knowledge is increasingly critical to fully capitalizing on those benefits.
For this reason, investing in forests as an investment in people is the cross-cutting focus of the XIV World Forestry Congress. In addition, six sub-themes will highlight the role of forests in sustaining life, acting as buffers against environmental change and inspiring new technologies and products, as well as the need to integrate forests and other land uses and to improve forest monitoring and governance. read more: http://nr.iisd.org/guest-articles/investment-in-forestry-is-an-investment-in-people/