I received an email recently from Jeremiah at Tree Nation that sparked the inspiration for this painting. At first, I was a little skeptical of a project (albeit backed by the United Nations Environmental Program) that was set out to plant 8 million trees in the unlikely location of the Sahara Desert. I don’t really equate a healthy, hardy forest with an arid desert, but the project location (a park in Niger) is apparently experiencing desertification; meaning it naturally isn’t meant to be so barren. This phenomenon is the result of climate change and other human related factors which has induced dwindling wildlife and compromised the wellbeing of many communities (think farming and commerce).
I posed my concern about planting trees in such harsh conditions to Jeremiah, who promptly responded with:
The trees we plant at the border of the Sahara Desert first spend their first months in a nursery growing strong . If they reach a certain age, the trees are brought to the spot in the desert where they are put in to the ground in a hole which is deep enough for them to reach the water sources beneath the desert, within a certain amount of time. Within the first months in the desert the trees are checked for their growth. It’s not easy, and there are definitely trees which fail to grow and which need replanting, but the value of trees fighting desertification and reproducing fruits and other benefits in one of the poorest countries of the world is well worth the trouble.
The Tree Nation website really lets you virtually get your hands dirty with a map, reminiscent of the old school video game Zelda, that allows you to see where your tree of choice has been planted, how it’s doing, and browse the profiles/progress of trees/tree owners around you.
This is a great gift idea for a techy friend who love social networks and environmental sustainability. Definitely check it out.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrSbn5vUTGM