Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

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Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby kellygreen » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:27 pm

Planeterra has a new project! Planeterra, the non-profit founded by Gap Adventures in 2003, is working with local communities in Southern Brazil to reforest their lands. This program, which will result in 450,000 trees planted by the end of the year, will provide the communities and local farmers of Parana, São Paulo, Marilia, Oriente and Londrina with access to training workshops and seedlings, so that they can increase food production, create natural barriers on their lands, provide shade and fodder for livestock and other animals.

Why is this project needed?

Some of the greatest losses of the world's tropical forest have taken place in Brazil. This vast nation has lost hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of Amazonian forests, an area larger than many countries. Deforestation in Brazil is largely due to clearing land for cattle ranching and other commercial agriculture as well as logging. While this news is grim, there are positive steps that can be taken to combat this cycle of forest loss including reforestation, expanding protected areas and developing methods of sustainable forestry that can be employed by local people who will benefit economically while maintaining the natural ecosystems.

Read more about this project: http://www.planeterra.org/pages/projects/19.php?id=34

or see the Press Release here: http://www.planeterra.org/pages/media_release_july_16__2009/68.php
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby jimshu » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:08 pm

Absolutely wonderful to read about this.I have always felt that the key to minimising man's impact on our environment, is in protecting our jungles and forests.If up to 18% of human induced CO2 is caused by cutting them down, then all our politicians should be focusing on buying up our jungles,promoting reforestation, and investing in encouraging locals to farm or crop our jungles rather than burning them down.
And heartening to see it will reforrest in indigenous species!
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby jimshu » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:03 am

Well DanielBMe started me going, and being hellishly jetlagged and not sleeping my mind is spinning over.But really, we environmentally concerned travellers will all be recognising the importance of Planeterra's indigenous tree planting program.To me it's a major step in the right direction to mitigate human impact on our planet.I got to thinking about trees and the role they play in our climate when out in the Damaraland desert when we moved from elephant habitat to human and their goat areas where elephant were not.
In elephant habitats, trees, especially mopani are many branched trunks, and very bushy from the ground up.Constant elephant browsing, and breaking of the growing tree has forced the plant to resprout from the ground, and up to the canopy.But more importantly, there is a full spectrum of generation of trees, from seedling to young teees to very mature.

But when we moved to areas where tribespeople run 100's of goats,elephants are chased away.And the same trees are single trunked, with no leaf/branch growth from ground until about 1 and a half metres high up(the height of a goat on tippy toes) where a dense canopy grows.And so you can crouch down and see for miles under the canopy, because their is no growth of any plant at that level.And sadly, no seedlings and no young generation plants!And without those younger plants growing up to eventually take the place of mature plants as they die off, we can anticipate the end effect will be desertification in an already arid area.
The human impact.

So this Planeterra post, and conversation with DanielBMe over here -http://wateringhole.gapadventures.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&p=46392#p46331
got me thinking about the real importance of trees in our ecosystem.And so I wrote some thoughts down.Then came across this report, which probably lends substance to those thoughts-ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2008) — In the rainforests of equatorial Asia, a link between drought and deforestation is fueling global warming, finds an international study that includes a UC Irvine scientist.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 180339.htm
A great website for all sorts of plain written scientific info.
But I would really like to see world attention turn as strongly to reforestation/protection of jungles as they have to this global warming /CO2 alarmism.



I'll post next what I wrote out last night during my jetlag wide awake hours!
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby jimshu » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:38 am

Let’s Protect our Trees!
(Or why I’m a Climate Change Realist)

Like most members here, I’m concerned about the environment, and human impact on our climate.A few years ago I would have been right in amongst the global warming camp, but I began to read more behind media sensationalist headlines, and scoured the internet for a wider field of information.I’ve now several scientific sites bookmarked on both sides of the argument and can refer daily to latest reports, rather than relying on latest scaremongering media reports.The truth is not to be found in ratings and advertising driven headlines.They are pumped up to drive sales.
And during this period, my opinions began to reform and move more and more into the Realist camp.And now I can’t find any sound argument to move from there.
So now I’m of the opinion that Climate change happens naturally.And that the human cause, being CO2 from fossil fuel use is simply grossly overstated..
And that if there is a measurable human effect, it is that the human change of land use over the centuries,(cutting down our forests!) has a greater effect than human induced CO2 on our climate.
Trees transpire.En masse, they pump out tons of H2O into the local atmosphere,keeping local conditions cooler and more humid.Conditions more suited for rainfall.Cut down those trees,destroy our forests, and local conditions dry out and become hotter, less rainfall, desertification.

Let’s take a look at what has happened around our world over the past few centuries, and it will become so clear why protecting our jungles and sensitive tree planting,particularly indigenous species ,is so important in this whole climate change issue.

Spain -and it’s dry central plateau.Prior to the great age of exploration, colonization and the Armada, was covered in a vast forest of Spanish Oak.All disappeared to build those fleets.Today a very dry area.

England.Those picturesque hedgerows and fields once covered in vast forests of which Sherwood is just a pitiful remainder.

France.Another great seafaring nation.Vast forests razed to build their fleets.

Portugal similar.

(Germany.Never a great seafaring nation and hence the great Black Forest remains, luckily)

China.Once covered with huge areas of forest.Destroyed for rice farming,villagers wood fuelled stoves, and decimated during Mao’s Great Leap Forward plan where every village was held to turning out iron and steel in their wood fuelled furnaces..Now with under 12% tree cover.And that is now under threat with the demand for chopsticks!Now China faces severe water shortages, and spreading desertification.
http://www.paulrittman.com/Mao's%20Grea ... orward.pdf

India.Once covered with large jungle tracts.Now much has been cleared under intense population pressure for land and fuel .Now suffering extremes of drought or monsoon floods.

Australia.Researching causes for disastrous bushfires I came across a report.It established that vast areas of Australia’s south east , particularly the Murray /Darling River Basin area, were covered with huge areas of trees.Millions of trees were destroyed to turn those marginally arable areas into farms.(Which needed irrigation of course).Consequently that human impact has exacerbated the effects of a drying climate, the area has become hotter, and now they face real water shortages, so much that farmers can no longer draw enough water for irrigation from that river system.
At least half of the pre-
European vegetation cover of the River Murray Basin
has been removed and replaced by new plants.
Signifi cant environmental degradation has resulted.
http://www.savethemurray.com/media/fact ... _flora.pdf

New Zealand.Prior to Europeans arriving , our country was largely covered with forests.Cleared to provide farmlands.We often experience summertime droughts in some areas.

Indonesia.http://www.wri.org/publication/state-forest-Indonesia
We’re chopping down the lungs of the world at an ever increasing rate,and palm oil for biofuels is a huge driver of those chainsaws.

Brazil.http://www.globalforestwatch.org/englis ... orests.htm
Brazil has lost over 570,000 square KM of it’s forest cover-an area the size of France.

Cambodia.The resurgance of their economy is coming at a cost to their jungles as they are destroyed to provide more land for rice growing for cash.During the dry season there’s a haze in the air from those clearancing fires.

Thailand has lost much of it’s original jungle cover.

Ethiopia.Has lost vast areas of it’s original forest cover as over the years villagers have cut down trees for fuel ,and their goats overgraze and kill off any new seedlings.Drought is now a common occurance.

Kilimanjaro.Losing it’s snow cover due to clearing of jungle around it’s base , allowing hotter, drier air to rise around it.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/17/g ... the-trees/
And we haven’t yet talked about other Sub-Saharan African countries!
But I will on Madagascar.
http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0619-daew ... ascar.html
If you read this report, think about all those locals displaced off their ancestral lands so an international company can plant corn and oil palm, (probably to cash in on the world’s plan to use carbon taxes for their grandiose carbon tax funded tree planting schemes!)
Many of those displaced, will just go and slash and burn more jungle elsewhere so as to regain land to farm to feed their families!

Deforestation contributes to around 17% of human induced CO2 into the atmosphere.But when I consider all the above deforestation effects around the world, I can logically conclude that the sum total effect goes much further.Not just CO2 is released, but the local climate tends to become drier and hotter from the loss of those trees.

So the effect of deforestation is twofold.
Seems to me, that all our politicians and scientists, instead of bleating on about CO2 at their Kyoto and Copenhagen conferences,etc, would be better off developing policies to combat climate change by getting out there and planting a few trees!.And stop them ripping down our jungles!Or doing what Planeterra is doing.
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby kellygreen » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:30 am

Thanks for all the info Jimshu!

I agree that more efforts in reforestation is part of the answer. I do also wholeheartedly believe that we need to cut the emissions we're pumping out through gasoline production, coal-fired power plants, etc. Otherwise trees won't have a chance in balancing the climate. Trees also emit C02 when they die, so we can't rely on them 100%. Reforestation has to be coupled with reduction in emissions from other sources.

I tend to be in the camp that thinks some serious change is coming no matter what we do now, but I still believe we should try our hardest to reduce our emissions and do as much reforestation as possible. Lots of Planeterra-style community-forestry projects have the potential to go a long way!
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby jimshu » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:22 pm

Trees also emit C02 when they die, so we can't rely on them 100%


Depends whether you feel increasing CO2 level is a problem, but there are many who point out that a higher CO2 level will lead to increased speed plant growth.And this world has been in a period of CO2 'starvation".
A lot of indigenous trees live for centuries though.
Anyway I would have thought that CO2 captured in a tree or forest growth would be a natural circular cycle...as a tree dies, that released CO2 would be more than taken up by young tree growth.
Good discussion.:-)
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby jimshu » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:06 pm

Hi Kellygreen.Just pushing this tree planting project again.
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Driesse ... nology.pdf
This report in a way reinforces why protecting our forests, and reforestation programs will become more important.
“Within the next four decades, the world’s farmers will have to double production on a shrinking land base and in the face of environmental demands caused by climate change.

And that means more pressure to cut down trees for farmlands.
Interesting to note that our local council has brought in a policy of planting trees that the community can harvest.Fruit and nut bearing varieties.And around our properties we're doing the same.Perhaps we should all spread this message in our communities.Trees for a healthy climate, that encourage our bird population, and that bear food for us.We might just need them.
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby kellygreen » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:25 am

Well Jimshu,

I have to say I have mixed emotions about Borlaug's work - the so-called Green Revolution, etc. While the focus here is on the positives of the Green Revolution - turning India and Mexico into grain exporters instead of starving nations - there are many farmers in these countries who will give you negatives. The Green Revolution and all other "efficient" large-scale agriculture requires intensive inputs of synthetic fertilizers, irrigation, pesticides, and contributes to soil erosion.

When he says “There are 6.6 billion people on the planet today. With organic farming, we could only feed 4 billion of them. Which 2 billion would volunteer to die?” I'd like to reply, and with agriculture that pumps tons of fertilizers and pesticides into the groundwater and lakes, rivers, and oceans, creating massive dead zones as we see now in the gulf of Mexico, off the coast of California, etc., and when major rivers are diverted for irrigation, and climate change is increasing flooding and droughts, who then will feed the the whole 6.6 billion or future 11 billion?!

Do we really think biotech and more agriculture efficiency will save us? Considering the amount of urban sprawl eating up the farmlands around here (Greater Toronto Area), I often wonder where we will get our food...

I like the trees that harvest fruit idea. I like the community gardening initiatives. What I would really like to see is urban redevelopment rather than suburban sprawl. But when it comes down to it, I really don't know if we'll be able to feed a growing population. We might have to start using the grains we grow to feed humans rather than feeding pigs and cows to make pork chops and steaks (net energy losers) for starters... I could go on! What I do know is we need a combination of solutions, and we certainly cannot rely on technology and efficient agriculture to make things better.

Thanks for the inspiration to discuss this issue more in depth...
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Re: Planeterra Supports Brazil Reforestation Program

Postby jimshu » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:42 pm

I think everyone would have mixed emotions on Dr Norman Borlaug's work, because he does push a vision that is probably neccessary we follow, unless we're prepared to see billions starve.And his vision based on biotechnology has a lot of very powerful detractors.But while criticising his views, those same groups don't come up with better answers.
But that discussion would get us away from trees.
[quote][Do we really think biotech and more agriculture efficiency will save us? Considering the amount of urban sprawl eating up the farmlands around here (Greater Toronto Area), I often wonder where we will get our food...
/quote]
What on earth did you eat today to sound so dispirited?
Hey we get our food from turning all that land that we converted to biofuel crops back to producing food.And then we turn on those nuclear power stations, and build more.Let's get this planet humming!

You know over in South Africa,there's a nuclear station, 4 reactors,we drove past and the place is mothballed!But they're digging coal out and burning/exporting it like crazy........But yet SA still has power blackouts.Why?Because they export so much power to neighbouring countries.That 1 reactor brought back online could solve all those problems.
It's just one example of this negativity to science and technology overiding the common sense practicalities.
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