About us - Foreword

photo: Foreword

Great civilisations have vanished in the past because of desertification

  • In our modern world, countries most seriously affected by desertification have been fighting lone battles on their own in the past. Despite their geographical or historical ill fate, these countries have made huge progress:
    • They contributed to the world’s understanding of the causes and the various strategies to combat desertification.

    • Countries most seriously affected by desertification include China, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, Lesotho, Chad, Niger, Mongolia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Iran, Oman, Cape Verde, etc.

  • Detrimental effects of desertification affect not only the people in marginal areas but all mankind, including future generations. There is a world trend of land degradation even in areas of moderate climate.
  • There have been concerted effort led by the United Nations (UN) to address the various problems of desertification, but lack of political will and power is a wide spread phenomenon. <to be added - links to writings about the UNCCD>

Besides natural causes, improper human activities are major causes of world-wide desertification.

  • Global warming has aggravated the devastating effect of desertification. Likewise, the trend of world-wide land desertification also further aggravates global warming.

Modern large scale chemical intensive agriculture considered harmful

  • One major kind of improper human activities (in addition to over reliance on and over consumption of fossil fuel) is modern large scale chemical intensive agriculture. It further aggravates global warming and desertification, and generates complex environmental hazards.
  • The damage is done through:
    1. destroying the habitats of microorganisms in once fertile soil
    2. polluting fresh water resources by toxic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
    3. emission of greenhouse gas through over tilting of land
    4. aggravating scarcity of water resources through wasteful irrigation systems
    5. emission of greenhouse gas through unnecessary transportation of farm produce
    6. inhumane raising of livestock through CAFO, etc.
  • Modern large scale chemical intensive agriculture is driven partly by irresponsible business model and unfair trade and partly unconsciously driven by changing consumer behaviour in developed countries after the World War II, particularly in food consumption.
  • All kinds of hazards may fall upon mankind in the not too far away future according to the UN projection of population growth which may include:
    1. threat to food security due to loss of arable land and depletion of soil fertility,
    2. threat to food safety due to toxicity,
    3. threat to human health from all kinds of pollutants and depletion of essential nutrients in farm produce and processed food,
    4. threat to social stability arising out of depleting natural resources,
    5. extreme weather and climate change arising from further global warming, etc.

Advancement in modern microbiology

  • Advancement in modern microbiology offers new understanding to soil health, plant health, food health and human health and their inter-relationships.
  • Farming practices incorporating principles of ecology and advanced microbiology and changing consumer behaviour may be able to turn around the downhill trend of worsening manmade environmental hazardous impacts. (biological farming and organic farming)
  • Small scale successful cases where degraded land is restored through application of agroforestry which emphasizes the incorporation of tree planting with farming have been reported world-widely. Inspiring men and women have been pioneering all kinds of strategies based upon ecological principles to rehabilitate degraded land and arrest and reverse the process of desertification.

Follow the footsteps of the inspiring people, change our consumer behaviour

  • Are there sufficient reasons for us to change our consumer behaviour and use the available science and good sense and follow the footsteps of the inspiring people who have demonstrated how one person can really make a difference?
    1. Mindful of every dollar we spend
    2. Are we supporting activities that ruin our homeland or are we supporting actions that keep our homeland green?
    3. Minimize wastes
    4. Adopt a healthy, ethical and nutritional diet and healthy life style as a way of staying green
    5. Starting small, grow our own food
    6. Plant a tree (our tree planting trips)
    7. Spread the word
    8. Stay in touch with nature and keep our homeland green