Climate Change Accords, Tree Plantations & Human Rights

South Africa's Gasophere seeks to raise awareness and slow the practice of unsustainable high-impact, fast rotation forestry With the pivotal 15th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties less than 200 days away, various UN agencies are working to craft a more comprehensive, integrated and multidisciplinary approach to climate change that incorporates issues as diverse yet interrelated as agriculture, deforestation, desertification, land use and land use change, and the oceans in a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Given the ongoing loss of our largest land-based carbon sinks–tropical rain and other forests–no one initiative has been as prominent or as urgent as the effort to craft the international environmental policy known as REDD–Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

Perils, Pitfalls & Assuring Success

Valid and sensible as it is, broadening the scope, and scale, of a global climate change accord is fraught with risks and pitfalls. Our knowledge of ecology and the sciences as they relate to the environment have advanced a lot in a relatively short time span, but nature retains its ability to surprise us on a regular basis, especially when we seek to apply that knowledge in any one specific situation. Or rush recklessly into large-scale actions based on cascading hype from vested interests or overly emotionally charged messages.

Moreover, one need only look at recent financial and political events as a reminder of how much time, money and effort people and organizations will devote to skirt, if not outright abuse, the best intended regulatory frameworks for their own short-term financial gain and self-interest.

If REDD and other international measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change can be agreed–and that would be quite a feat in itself–their success will hinge on having valid assessment and verification methods, not to mention more than adequate, and uncorrupted, organizational infrastructure and resources in place.

Industrial Tree Farms

Geasphere, an internationally supported South Africa-based environmental non-profit group, is striving to raise awareness, and curtail high-impact, fast rotation forestry while advocating for and helping develop a model more in tune and respectful of the natural biodiversity found in the region.

Industrial tree farms have spread to the point where they cover millions of hectares across some of South Africa and surrounding nations’ higher rainfall areas. You can argue that these industrial tree farms, in which grasslands are cleared in order to plant alien, deep-rooted evergreen species–typically eucalyptus and pine–capture a lot of carbon and provide timber for construction and other uses. And that would be true.

Watch these two videos and you’ll see the other side of the ledger, however–how intensive, high-impact, fast rotation forestry has decimated rich grasslands, water resources, and biodiversity, while making them much more prone to fire and drought and depriving the ability of rural folk to subsist in the areas surrounding them. The bottom line–for residents and the environment–is a decidedly negative one.

Earth Matters, Part 1

Earth Matters, Part 2

Andrew Burger
Andrew Burger
A product of the New York City public school system, Andrew Burger went on to study geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, work in the wholesale money and capital markets for a major Japanese bank and earn an MBA in finance.

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  1. Dear Sir,

    I Am an Environmentalist from Bangladesh, Working For Climate Change Through Tree Plantation I Want To Be Part of both Local and Global Movements That Are Leading the Way in Restoration Ecology and Carbon Sequestration Using Perm culture Understandings and Applications and the Hand-on Sharing Of Stewardship Ethics with the Next Generation of Caretakers of our Children. I Would Like To Ask To Join Me Today By Supporting My Work in Planting Trees for Life by Contributing My Project in Bangladesh.

    I Am Asking People around the Globe to Take Responsibility For Their Lifestyles Through The Planting Of The Trees That Were Used In The Construction Of Their Homes Or Businesses, Or To Offset The Carbon Imprint Of The Miles They Drive, Or Plant Trees And Or Groves To Honour People They Care About.

    When There Are Trees For Children There Is Clean Air To Breath And Water To Drink, A More Stable Climate, And A Landscape That Is Vibrant, Nourishing And Beautiful. In North America, There Are Just Three-Percent Of Old Growth Forests Left For The Future Generations To Live And Flourish Amongst. This Has Caused Great Instability In The Global Climate Both Environmentally And Socially. Which Affects Us All.

    My Intention Is To Plant One Million Fruit Tree. In That Case, Bangladesh Is A Country Where This Short Of Plantation Is Feasible. Fruit Trees Are Also Economically Viable For Country Like Bangladesh Where People Are Living Below Under Poverty Line. These Trees Will Also Give Them a Hope For Earning.

    I Need Funding For My Ambitious Project, Where As Very Few Founding Opportunity Lies In Bangladesh. I Am Asking To You Might Have Some Opportunity for Me to Manage Some Funding To Implement This Noble Intention and Help the World to Survive From Global Warming.

    I Have Already Contacted Started Mango Fruit Bearing Tree Plantation In Dhaka City In Deferent Areas/Places This Initiatives Will Make Balance In Environment As Well As Provide Enormous Good Quality Fruits, Bangladesh Railway, They Have Agreed To Provide Me With Land Along With Their Railroad Side. The Length of the Total Land Is Approximately Is Approximately 41 Kilometer Where I Can Plant A Major Part of my Project.

    I Have Estimated That To Plant Each Tree, Unit Cost Will Be U S $ 10. In That Case I Would Like To Ask You to Share Your Contribution to Mango Tree Plantation Project For A Sustainable Development of Not Only Bangladesh But Also For The Whole World

    Tree Plantation In One Of The Most Suitable Route Of Social & Environment Development Systems. After Plantation Mango Fruit Tree’s we will Take Care during Two Years.

    Thanks and Best Regards

    Ibrahim Ali Mondal


    Social & Environment Development Systems

    House 02, Road 10, Sector 13, Uttara, Dhaka-1230,


    Cell: +88 01928772719



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