Planting billions of trees to generate moisture, fight deforestation and combat global warming – a challenge Africa has embraced, following China’s lead.
Trees vs. Sand
Unexpectedly, the Middle Empire has become the world’s most powerful example of successful reforestation policies. In an effort to fight the encroachment of the Gobi Desert, which is expanding at a rate of several million kilometers per year, the Chinese have planted a wall of trees to bring moisture back to arid regions. Begun in 1978, this immense project is expected to cover 4500 km2 by 2074 with 100 billion trees… a Great Green Wall.
Restoring biodiversity and generating water to help populations cultivate crops and raise animals – this is the challenge that Africa adopted in 2007. Here, the battle is with the Sahara and Sahel deserts, where a dozen countries suffer the effects of expanding desertification. Africa’s own great green wall will stretch from Senegal to Djibouti in a swath of land 7000 km long by 15 km wide.
China and Africa’s reforestation initiatives are among the world’s most ambitious projects for the planet, but of all of them, the African program seems to reflect the best planning. The trees planted in Africa are local species, capable of surviving the hot, dry desert terrain, whereas in China, a quarter of the trees have perished because they were not appropriate species for the climate. These reforestations are even more difficult to implement because, in addition to being the right types of trees, these new plants must not attract animals that can harm the environment, or insects like mosquitoes that thrive in humid conditions.
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– China :
Interview of Jean-François Doulet, lecturer at the Urbanism University of Paris for Atlantico : http://www.atlantico.fr/rdv/atlantico-green/100-milliards-arbres-contre-gobi-nouvelle-grande-muraille-chine-suffira-t-elle-sauver-pays-sables-jean-francois-doulet-1926383.html
– Africa :