The ‘Green Wall of China Project’, a guiding line for the Indian Government ?





Fast desertification of lands must be stopped. The ‘Green Wall of China Project’ can be a guiding line for the Indian Government to halt desertification across the country. For this, prompt legislative measures should be initiated

As India battles climate change amid rising temperatures and pollution levels, the threat posed by desertificationhas been slowly but steadily rising. Currently, 25 per cent of India’s total land is undergoing desertification while 32 per cent is facing degradation. This has severely affected the productivity, livelihood and food security of millions of people across the country.

As much as 105.19 million hectares (Mha) of the country’s total geographical area of 328.73 Mha is being degraded, while 82.18 Mha is undergoing desertification. Desertification is majorly occurring in the forms of land degradation including soil erosion, which accounts for over 71 per cent of the total degradation, and wind erosion that comprises another10.24 per cent. Other causes for desertification include water logging and salinity-alkalinity.

According to studies, nearly 68 per cent of the country is prone to drought, due to the impact of climate change, particularly in dry lands. These conditions are being made worse due to land desertification that is on the rise, thanks to deforestation and unsustainable fuel wood and fodder extraction.

Besides this, the shifting of cultivation, encroachment into forest lands and recurrent forest fires have taken a toll on the condition of the land. Additionally, the problems of cattle overgrazing, inadequate soil conservation measures, and improper crop rotation combined with indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals has only accelerated the deterioration of land.

Agriculture is turning out to be the single largest casualty of land desertification. More than a quarter of India’s land is gradually turning to deserts and the rate of degradation of agricultural areas is increasing according to an analysis of satellite images collated by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Furthermore, according to the ISRO report, land desertification and degradation — defined in terms of  loss of productivity —is estimated at 96 million hectares, or nearly 30 per cent of Indian land.

Read the full article: The Pioneer

High value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia


Photo credit: Africa Rising

Photo 1: Avocado sapling in Lemo Upper gana. Photo: ICRAF/Hadia Seid)

Intensifying with high value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia – some reflections from the first phase

Helping smallholders restore degraded forests


Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Ochieng’ Ogodo

African initiative calls for focus on land restoration


Ochieng’ Ogodo

Speed read

  • A meeting has called for a need to create evidence to restore Africa’s forests
  • Collaborations among universities could help generate more evidence
  • Governments should be committed to helping smallholders restore degraded forests

Generating sufficient scientific knowledge to restore degraded land is critical in Africa because the continent largely depends on land and other natural resources for socioeconomic development, experts say.

Most populations, it was noted at the 1st African Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) Regional Conference this month (11-12 October) in Ethiopia, depend on land for livelihoods, but there has been massive degradation and this calls for, among others, adequate knowledge for restoration, particularly by small-scale farmers.

“Rivers are drying, Lake Chad is gone, Lake Turkana in Kenya is receding and [thus] people have to take restoration very seriously.”

Alice Akinyi Kaudia, Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

“This requires inter-universities collaborations because not all African universities are well endowed with enough resources to generate needed knowledge and tools,” says Alice Akinyi Kaudia, environmentsecretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. “It will [also] be useful to develop centres of excellence within them to address this urgently.”

The AFR100 conference was organised by the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development, Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the World Resources Institute.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

A daunting task to improve the drylands through afforestation for people’s wellbeing


Photo credit:

Kubuqi Desert []

Poverty alleviation: Greening the desert for people’s wellbeing

As noted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, promoting ecological progress is of vital importance to the people’s wellbeing and China’s future; and it remains a daunting task to improve the ecosystem through afforestation. Nearly 30 years ago, the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, the seventh largest desert in China, was a barren land with no water, electricity, or future. To alleviate poverty through desertification control, Elion Resources Group (ELION) has successfully afforested an area of over 6,000 square kilometers by means of technological innovation, leading to a 95 percent decrease in sand-dust weather and an increase by six times in precipitation in Kubuqi.

Seven Stars Lake Desert Resort and convention complex, built by Elion Resources as part of an effort to turn the desert green and bring create and education and recreation center in the Kubuqi Desert, just south of the Yellow River. – A hotel built by ELION []
During the process of ecosystem restoration, ELION has blazed a trail in the industrial development simultaneously driven by desertification control and poverty alleviation, while building up a new mechanism that integrates the government policy support, corporate commercial investment and market-oriented participation by farmers and herdsmen.

At this time of the year when forage has to be prepared in pastoral areas, Chen Ningbu no longer needs to worry about the forage for his over 300 sheep this winter, since he has enjoyed a bumper harvest of crops he planted in the sand.

The village where Chen Ningbu lived is located in the Kubuqi Desert and it used to be afflicted by sandstorms throughout the year. Large tracts of grassland and farmland were swallowed then. In the 1990s, average annual income for each person in this area was less than 400 yuan, and the local pillar business, Hangjinqi Saltworks, was also having a hard time, suffering from an annual loss of five million yuan for years.

When the saltworks was on the verge of bankruptcy, ELION stepped in and took over its operation. To save the business, urgent actions against desertification were needed. It was then decided that for each ton of salt sold,  5 yuan should be used in afforestation efforts. However, the survival rate of trees in the arid desert was even under 10 percent.

To solve the problem, ELION used grids made from twigs of bulrushes and the Salix mongolica to protect the trees against strong winds and the sand, effectively increasing the survival rate to 60 percent, but the cost for each acre of trees soared to up to 6,000 yuan.

Read the full article:

Trees for the Future



The Impact of Desertification on African Countries

by Jerry Wiatt, Sales Executive in Olympia, Washington

Jerry Wiatt is the founder of Treasure Hunt Group, an e-commerce business based in Olympia, Washington. In keeping with his belief in corporate social responsibility, Jerry Wiatt collaborates with Trees for the Future and sponsors tree-planting activities based on the number of orders received on his company’s e-commerce site.

Trees for the Future is a non-profit organization that is committed to revitalizing the degraded lands in Sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to end extreme hunger and poverty. Through its Forest Garden Program, the organization helps provide families with a sustainable source of food, livestock feed, and saleable products. It is currently running 14 projects in five countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Read the full story: Jerry Wiatt

Communal Fruit Tree Plantations to Combat Desertification


Photo credit: Modern Ghana


Reversing Desertification Through Communal Fruit Tree Plantations In Upper West Region

by Coalition For Change Ghana
It is usual for remote dwellers in the northern parts of Ghana to cut trees for livelihoods. Some especially women do so for charcoal, firewood and lately timber logging. However, an initiative by the Coalition for Change (C4C) in collaboration with the Jacobs Well Appeal –UK (JWA-UK) is righting the wrongs on the environment.

Their target is to liaise with communities to plant and care for fruit trees to benefit the communities. From August to September this year, they have engaged a remote community east of Wa the capital of the Upper West region to pilot the planting of mangoes and moringa seedlings. A total of 330 seedlings of mango (220) and moringa (110) were planted with the people of Kpaliworgu.

The community was trained on trees/environmental protection and the proper way of planting and raising trees. The community provided the land, poles and manpower for the plantation whilst JWA through C4C provided the seedlings, fencing and trainings. The seedlings will be looked after by the community for the next two years until they mature. Once the trees start fruiting, the community can harvest to supplement their fruit intake as well as sell some for developmental projects.

Read the full article: Modern Ghana

Shrubs to combat desertification


Photo credit: Google

Shrublands – – Basin big sagebrush in a big basin

Shrubs more expansive than trees

September 26, 2016
University of Gothenburg
Shrubs are more widespread than trees in nature and on Earth. A new study explains their global success. It turns out that the multiple stems of shrubs are of key importance. This feature contributes to both better growth and better survival than in trees of similar size, according to the research team behind the study.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Reforestation on sewage effluent




In an innovative forestry project known as the Serapium forest, Egypt has found a solution to desertification – when fertile land becomes deserts with the persistent degradation of dryland.

The solution was planting forests. This is easier said than done as 96% of Egypt is consumed by deserts and Egyptian deserts have virtually no rain falls. But researchers in Egpyt have found a way to repurpose wastewater instead of tapping into the sparse fresh water supply. The result? A thriving tree plantation in the middle of the Egyptian desert.

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), the Serapium forest project is a research programme that was initiated by the Egyptian government in the 1990s with the aim to green 36 different desert locations. An array of native tree species were planted alongside commercially valuable non-native species including Eucalyptus and Mahogany.

The source of wastewater is based in northern Egypt, an approximate two hours car ride from Cairo. The body of waastewater is the drainage basin with sewage effluent produced by the inhabitants of the nearby town, Ismailia.

The individual trees in the 200-acre of the 500-acre plantation are given five litres of the repurposed water twice a day without the necessity of extra fertilizer as the effulent water delivers the nutrients needed. Regular tests have also shown that there was no contamination in the soil with the effluent, DW reported.

In fact, with oxygen and microbes added into the effluent, results showed a high concentration of phosphates and nitrogen compounds to deliver quality fertilizers found in powder form at gardening shops.

Read the full article: Panels Furniture Asia

70 mln ha of planted forest in China



China tops the world for having 70 mln ha of planted forest

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/28 17:30:29

China is home to 69.3 million hectares of artificial forest, the most in the world, following more than six decades of afforestation work, said Zhang Jianlong, head of the State Forestry Administration.

Total forest acreage has grown to 3.12 billion mu (208 million ha) from 1.24 billion mu in early 1950s, covering 21.66 percent of the land area, compared with 8.6 percent more than 60 years ago, Zhang said at a national conference on accelerating afforestation over the weekend in Hohhot.

Zhang said the administration aims to have more trees planted in areas along the Belt and Road Initiative region, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the Yangtze River economic belt.

It’s time to stop treating our soil like dirt


Photo credit: Trees for the Future (Photo credit: NASA)

Desertification: Rooting out the Problem with Trees

More than 1.5 billion people in the world depend on degraded land, and about three quarters (74%) of them are impoverished¹.  For 250 million of these people, their plight has a name—desertification².  Desertification³, or land degradation occurring in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas, is driven by both natural and man-made factors, and it is leaving farmers across sub-Saharan Africa thirsty for answers.  Desertification is not only scraping at the back door of families in places like West Africa. It is already in their homes and affecting their livelihoods in the most fundamental way.  It is seen in the meals they eat, and the meals they don’t.  In this region where agriculture is the backbone of the economy and land is often a person’s most valuable asset, desertification means devastation. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, has a higher proportion of people living in poverty than any other region in the world, and 80% of these impoverished people depend upon agriculture or farm labor for their livelihoods⁴.

As the land dries up, so does peace.

But it’s not just about livelihoods or even food security.  In places like Nigeria, desertification is a threat to peace.  It is here that competition between nomadic cattle herders and farmers for the land that is increasingly swallowed by the Sahara desert has resulted in a conflict between the groups that has killed more people this year than Boko Haram⁵. Similarly, in Ghana, Fulani herdsmen from neighboring countries who have been forced to migrate in search of pasture have been destroying  property across local villages⁶.  As the land dries up, so does peace.

Desertification is not just their problem.  It is all of ours.  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that by 2050, there will be one third more mouths to feed and that global food supply will need to increase by about 70% to feed them⁷. In a world where we are losing both agricultural land and people to urbanization, this means that efficiency gains will need to be made on the land we already have, that we cannot afford to lose any more, and that some of the land that has already been lost will need to be restored.  Africa will be a key piece of the solution.

In the semi-arid places of West Africa, such as in Senegal where Trees for the Future works, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the Sahara Desert is encroaching at a rate of five kilometers per year.

Read the full article: Trees for the future

300 000 plants provided by the Green Mali Foundation



Combating desertification: the Green Mali Foundation provides 300 000 plants of the Ministry of the environment

by Bahabene Maiga

Moussa Dhiman


In order to combat desertification and the harmful effects of the change, the Foundation Green Mali has put at the disposal of the Ministry of the environment, sanitation and development sustainable 300 000 plants. It was Saturday, August 13, 2016 in the classified forest of Tienfala under the leadership of the president of the National Assembly of Mali Issaka Sidibé with at his side, Mrs. Kamrani Aida M’Bow Minister of the environment, sanitation and sustainable development, by Rakesh Dheer Chairman high of communities and patron of the event as well as the President of the Foundation Mali green Cheickna Kagnassy.

“The activity of the day is part of the national reforestation campaign, she is a citizen response to a worthy son of Koulikoro region to the appeal launched a week ago by the highest authorities of Mali,” said Mrs. Kamrani Aida M’Bow Minister of the environment, sanitation and sustainable development. It will add that the reforestation of the Foundation Mali green operation is not a first. “Last year in Banamba this Foundation planted 100 000 seedlings of different species”, she says. Before specifying: “300 000 plants that are available to us are made up of Baobab, tamarind, of acacia-Senegal, Nîmes, Moringas; these species whose choice meets the requirements of the ground will be planted according to the norms guaranteeing their survival.

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