Replanting the Rainforest (pt 2)

By isak, April 3, 2009

Sustainably Managed Permanent Rain Forest Habitats
Thursday, 05 March 2009

bantu-enrichment_kateThe Sustainably Managed Permanent Rainforest Habitat concept is a key differentiation point with other Tree Planting projects run by other organizations.

Because these programs do not have control of the lands where the trees are planted and in most cases the trees are planted in areas that have a history of deforestation. Many programs take place on farmlands. Ask yourself: What do farmers do for a living? They plant things, they grow things, and they cut them down and sell them.

What we do is different. Our projects mix a variety of technologies to create an economic engine to support the creation of these habitats. These technologies include analog (sustainable) forestry, wildlife habitat enhancement, biomass carbon negative energy production, BioChar soil augmentation and edible forest gardens (Permaculture).

To get a better idea of how this works, watch this extraordinary video from Willie Smits of BOS.

In many parts of the world, it is critical that we plant a lot of trees and return a lot of land to forest. The loss of the forest contributes to loss of habitat for animals, a reduction in available drinkable water, loss of soil and even landslides that destroy Smaboja Lestaritowns and villages. We also need to increase the number of trees to absorb the excess gases that cause global warming. Moreover, there is a direct link between deforestation and drought, which has become a severe and worsening problem – totally reversible through reforestation – throughout the tropics.

sl-islandsMost reforestation efforts are being spent on plantations, not on genuine new forests. We use the term “reforestation” a lot, but in reality, unless the lands are permanently returned to forest, you are not reforesting, you are raising a crop of trees. Tree plantations can reduce commercial pressure on remaining forests, but they are not themselves new forests. Just like a loss of trees is not deforestation unless the land usage permanently changes, it isn’t reforestation unless the end result is a forest.

Through the years many organizations, Rainforest Action Network, The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, etc. have seen the value of the forests and have worked diligently to protect them. Unfortunately, in spite of their efforts, the rainforests of the planet continue to shrink, and the animals that live in the forests continue to fall into extinction.

What do you think?

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