Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: fighting poverty and deforestation at the same time

This year's Blog Action Day is dedicated to poverty and to ways we can and should fight it. This is a great opportunity to give big kudos to our planting partners, who are dedicated not only to fight deforestation in developing countries, but also to fight poverty in these areas.

In many cases, deforestation and poverty goes together. I would like to quote from a letter of Florence Reed, founder and president of Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) few months ago that explains this connection:

"More than 158 million acres of forest were destroyed in Latin America and the Caribbean from 1990 to 2005, the United Nations reports. Slash-and-burn farming devastates communities and the fragile ecosystems where they live... I recently returned from Nicaragua, where I saw smoldering stretches of land where I had seen lush tropical forest only a few years ago. Ancient trees are being cleared to make way for cattle pasture and African palm plantations or simply burnt for charcoal. The cycle of slash-and-burn depletes nutrients from the soil so that farmers are no longer able to grow their crops. Families are forced to abandon homesteads and seek new areas of forest to burn, or travel to urban areas in search of a better life that they rarely find there. The families burning these stretches of land are living in extreme poverty. They are desperate to learn ways to provide food for their children without destroying the forest.

Sustainable Harvest International is the solution to this vicious cycle of poverty and deforestation. Our local staff provide training in simple techniques that enable families to increase their yields, market their crops, improve their health and restore the environment."

This is only one example of the great work done by SHI, as well as
the Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) in Guatemala and RIPPLE Africa in Malawi. We are proud to collaborate with them and thank them for their efforts to fight both deforestation and poverty.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!

* The photo is courtesy of Sustainable Harvest international (SHI)

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