When you see paper and wood what do you think of? Do you think of the tree that was felled to make the product?
Centuries ago, 60% of the Earth’s surface was covered in forests. Now, there is less than 10% left.
Deforestation is when forests are converted for other purposes by cutting trees to clear the land for other use. With 15 million people in Zambia we need more land to expand cities, raise livestock, and grow food. People also make money by clearing the forests and selling the lumber and wood to be converted into other products such as paper and furniture.
Can you imagine an Earth without forests? Here are some deforestation facts one shouldn’t overlook:
- Every minute, forestland the size of 20 football fields is cut down worldwide.
- 13 million hectares of forest have been cleared for other uses or by natural disaster. By the year 2030, we might only have 10% of our world forests left and if we don’t stop deforestation, in 100 years there may be no rainforests left.
- A patch of rainforest measuring 4 square miles (6.4 square kilometres) can contain as many as 1,500 flowering plants, 400 species of birds, 750 species of trees and 150 species of butterflies. Not counting the other living things living there.
My name is David Mulongoti, 34, from Kitwe City, Copperbelt Province, Zambia. I am an electrical engineer with a passion for clean and green energy. As one of the solutions to deforestation, I intend to plant 10,000 fast-growing eucalyptus and pine trees on a five-hectare land with a riverfront, thus ensuring continuous irrigation all year round.
Five hectares or 12.5 acres of land has already been procured along Kalulushi River near Kitwe. The next steps will be clearing land, cultivating, and planting trees. Planting density of 2,500/ha or 1000/acre. Therefore, approximately 10,000 trees will be planted on a five-hectare piece of land.
- Clearing and cultivating land: 4–6 weeks,
- Planting transgenic eucalyptus trees: 3 weeks,
- Expected growth rate is 6.1 m per year.
- Clearing land USD 1,500
- Cultivating and digging holes: USD 1,000
- Eucalyptus/Pine seedlings and transportation: USD 1,500.
- Planting labour: USD 700.
- Miscellaneous expenses: USD 300.
Total: USD 5,000
- The plantation will help preserve the natural habitat for biodiversity thus maintain the ecosystem.
- Help prevent soil erosion.
- Will reduce carbon print in the atmosphere.
- Help promote legal trade and employment to locals through trading in certified timber.
- Be a great source of compost for agricultural use.
- Waste from trees can be used for biogas production.
- Rainforest Concern: Why are Rain Forests Important? www.theworldcounts.com.
- Conserve Energy Future: Deforestation Facts. www.conserve-energy-future.com.
- Greenpeace: Solutions to Deforestation. www.conserve-energy-future.com.
- Arid Zone Forestry: A Guide for Field technicians. www.fao.org.
- World Preservation Foundation: Deforestation Statistics. www.conserve-energy-future.com.
Blogpost and picture submitted by David Mulongoti (Zambia): david.mulongoti[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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