Land Restoration. Why?
Great civilisations have vanished in the past because of desertification
- In our modern world, 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.
- Efforts led by United Nations (UNCCD) to address the various problems of desertification have not been very successful due to lack of political willpower of the member countries.
Why and How does it happen?
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, a vicious cycle.
Modern large scale chemical intensive agriculture
- 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:
- destroying the habitats of microorganisms in once fertile soil.
- polluting fresh water resources by toxic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
- emission of greenhouse gas through over tilting of land.
- aggravating scarcity of water resources through wasteful irrigation systems
- emission of greenhouse gas through unnecessary transportation of farm produce.
- inhumane raising of livestock through concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), etc.
Irresponsible business model shapes consumer demands
- 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.
- UN projected that world population will grow in an alarming rate. It puts pressure on countries to produce more and cheaper food. The short term fix is fertilizers and pesticides to boost yield.
- the soil gets worse with each application and the farmers apply more like a drug addict. At the end, the soil will no long has the ability to nurture any life forms due to the toxicity of chemical applied.
- beginning of a vicious cycle.
Too little! Too late? Any remedies?
- 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 man-made environmental hazardous impacts. (biological farming and organic farming)
Success stories of reclaiming degraded land by agroforestry in Asia, an approach incorporating tree planting and farming are extremely encouraging. Examples are:
Countries have been working to fight the desertification. UNCCD’s definition of desertification is land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, mainly climatic variation and human activities.
As an individual, what can one do…to make a difference?
- Vote with your fork and your dollar. Support regenerative agriculture and locally grown food produced in eco-friendly manners.
- Minimize or stop purchasing ultra-processed foods.
- Be a role model in your community. Teach your family and friends why soil and food matter.
- Grow your own food. Growing your own food is the epitome of eating locally – even if it is just a few herbs in a pot in your house, or a small garden in your rooftop or backyard of schools.
- Join voluntary tree planting and soil restoration work.
- Work as volunteers in local farms that practice regenerative farming.
- Learn more and share with others.
HomelandGreen’s Land Restoration programs
Coordinate with our partner NPO-GreenLife Limited in China to organize Tree Planting trips to arid/semi-arid areas in China. In the course of 1 to 2 weeks, participants plant the saplings under supervision. There will be briefing on local customs, history, geological background and socio-economical impacts on local communities.
HomelandGreen works with local farms in Hong Kong to experiment and showcase the benefit of regenerative farming.
Regenerative farming does not deplete the soil. Rather it makes the soil healthier and encourages biodiversity.
Natural Waste Recycling & Composting
All organic matters should and could go back to the natural cycle. Arrangements are made with local businesses for natural organic wastes such as soy bean residue, spent Chinese herbs and lawn wastes for our compost piles.
The compost is used in our regenerative farming projects as supplements and for brewing compost tea.