Afforestation being the process of planting trees, or sowing seeds, in a barren land devoid of any trees to create a forest. .POH together with communities is planting trees and creating forests, so that, many of the commercial needs of these communities are fulfilled, while not destroying what is left of the planet.
It is also definite as a massive program of social forestry to meet demands to local people for fuel, fodder, timber etc. It restores ecological balance of all ecosystems, maintain biological diversity, and act as catchments for all soil and water, conservation, prevent floods and future of tribal people.
While doing this, the overall objective is to participate in developing the forest resources with people’s and communities participation, focusing on improvement in livelihoods of the forest-fringe communities, especially the poor. This is in respond on the report by UNEP of Mar 1, 2017 – [South Sudan seeks to plant 20 mln trees. … The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on that, year that South Sudan’s forests, which were covering 33 percent of its total land area, were shrinking by 1.5 percent annually due to logging and deforestation as the country lacks alternative source of fuels. This however, has increased higher due to the 2013 conflict in the Country and more striking to the Greater Equatoria Region, the forests catchment.
While there is no information on the exact number of forests in the country, according to 2009 figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, forests and woodlands cover an estimated 29 percent of the land area in South Sudan or 191,667 square kilometers.
A study conducted in 2010 by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), dubbed the Forest Resources Assessment, estimated that a high rate of up to 2,776 square kilometers of forests and other wooded land were being lost annually in South Sudan.
In one of the interview with IPS, one of the director general in South Sudan’s Environment Ministry, Victor Wurda Lotome, warned that although investing in agriculture would help the country’s economy, if the environmental risks associated with mechanized, commercial agriculture are not considered, the damage to the environment could outweigh the financial benefits and so it is today.
Advantages of Afforestation includes the following but not limited to:
- Trees will continue providing wildlife habitats. …
- Will increase the supply of timber and charcoal. …
- Will help in resolving the problem of climate change. …
- Will help in preventing soil erosion. …
- It comes with real opportunity costs. …
- It can affect biodiversity. …
- It can bring some problems of ecotourism.
Afforestation, where planting of trees is on a large scale, is quite beneficial for the ecosystem as it helps to maintain the balance of gases in the atmosphere. Not only this, it provides shelter to the organisms and helps to avoid their extinction. It attracts rainfall and hence regulates the climate.
Our future planning and interventions includes both Afforestation and Reforestation while contributing to global MDGs;
The need of today in South Sudan is to increase carbon capture and carbon sequestration, decrease soil degradation, have better and regular rain cycles and improve biodiversity anthropogenically in order to normalize our planet’s environmental dis-balance. Afforestation and reforestation are looked upon as the most viable and effective solution to this.
Meaning of Afforestation and Reforestation
Afforestation is creation of forest cover in a land where there are no trees. Reforestation is a solution to increase the density of existing forest covered land, especially to recover the patches where trees got cut down. Both processes help to mitigate the climate change situations, reduce air pollutants, and reestablish the ecosystems and natural habitats.
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