Trees for Haiti Campaign Starts -- Slowly
Shortly after the devastating earthquake in
Nearly two months later, we're beginning to see the first -- admittedly limited -- steps in that direction.
On Friday, the
The FAO, which at the time applauded my column, is calling on people to donate at least
"Your donation pays for an avocado, mango or other fruit tree seedling, its planting, a small amount of fertilizer and watering and weeding for the first year," the campaign goes.
It will help schools teach children how to care for the environment, and at the same time provide food for the students, it says.
Simultaneously, several other international institutions and non-government groups are studying other approaches, such as urging
CAUSES OF POVERTY
Deforestation has long been one of the main reasons behind
At the same time, deforestation causes devastating floods. When it storms in
Why aren't you more ambitious and go beyond trees for school yards, I asked three senior FAO officials in a telephone conference.
They said schools will be the first step of the reforestation campaign, while experts figure out how to overcome legal problems with land ownership in
Unless people own the land and own the trees, they will cut them down sooner or later, they said. There have been massive international tree planting campaigns in
FAO forestry experts
"If you calculate realistic planting activities by year, if they had a good forestry department, it would take 44 years to reach a forest cover of 10 percent of the country," Kollert said. "That tells you something about the magnitude of the problem."
WHY NOT MORE?
My opinion: The FAO deserves a round of applause -- and our
Why not urge the more than one million Haitians living abroad to donate one tree each for
And why not start a campaign "
Why not ask cruise passengers to each leave one tree behind in
DON'T WAIT TOO LONG
It's true that it would be irresponsible to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into
But it's also true that if we let more time go by, world attention will turn somewhere else, and it will be more difficult to get funds for the regreening of
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