Looking for some positive climate news? Well, you’re in the right place! It’s a fact that our earth is changing. With sea levels rising, temperatures soaring and desertification spreading– the effects of the climate crisis are already being felt.
But there is some hope at the end of the tunnel. We still have time. The recent IPCC report has offered us a glimpse at what is possible, if we work to reverse the effects of global warming.
In Africa, people are coming together to make this happen. The Great Green Wall is one of the biggest answers to climate change happening right now. Below are the top 6 reasons why we need it:
It’s no secret that trees are a solution to rising C02 levels - the main cause of climate change. Trees capture carbon through photosynthesis, as they absorb carbon dioxide and return oxygen into the atmosphere.
This win-win process is speeded up by planting more trees. So far, over 27 million trees have already been planted in the Great Green Wall. This amazing achievement not only helps get rid of carbon, but also stops things like desertification (when the land becomes desert). A bonus is more trees means more shade from the sun – something that is much needed for people living in Africa’s drylands.
Planting trees isn’t just good for the environment, it can also help people living in poverty. How? By providing people with ways to earn a living.
In Africa’s drylands, Tree Aid works with people to give them the tools and training they need to grow and harvest fruit or nuts from trees. Did you know that shea butter is from tree nuts? This is just one example of the many ways people can improve their incomes from growing forests, and pay for essential things like food or school fees.
Bush babies. Monkeys. Warthogs! These are just a few of the amazing animals that rely on trees in the Great Green Wall to survive.
Eating the trees’ fruits, living in the branches, or marking scents on their trunks are examples of the ways local wildlife need trees to thrive. These activities can also support forests to grow, as they help to spread seeds and fertilise soil.
Soil? How important is it, really? The answer is very! Good soil is crucial for growing good, healthy trees.
In the Sahel region of Africa, climate change has resulted in less rainfall, which means the soil is too dry and unfertile to grow crops. This can have a devastating effect on people’s ability to grow food. The good news? Planting more trees helps to protect soil by keeping water in the earth, making it easier to grow nutritious food.
27 million trees don’t just plant themselves! Behind every single one, are people coming together to make it happen. And when communities work together, stronger bonds are formed.
How are they doing this? Tree Aid works with people to set up growing cooperatives, tree nurseries, community gardens and more. These projects help to provide nutritious food all year around, even during the dry seasons when there’s less to eat. Instead of splitting up to look for food or income, families can now stay together in their towns or villages.
Many women in the Sahel struggle with the burden of gender inequality. This can affect their ability to grow incomes, take part in leadership decisions or get the education they need to succeed.
How does the Great Green Wall help? Tree Aid works with women to create business enterprises from tree products, selling shea butter or food produce made from trees that they can grow and protect as a group. We also support women to secure access to land, which challenges long-held beliefs about gender roles. These are just a few of the ways growing the Great Green Wall can help advance women’s rights.