What role can char play in desertification?
At this moment, desertification processes are happening on one third of the land surface of the Earth. The soil is becoming impoverished, fertility and moisture retention is steadily reducing. As a result, hunger and poverty ensue. The lives of more than 1 billion people are threatened by conflicts over the search for water, a new home and livelihood.
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Already, southern European nations feel the impact of “economic migrants” from sub-Saharan Africa. The word “economic” is misleading: these are not people choosing to leave their homelands for the sake of a few extra dollars. These are people who can no longer grow food, or for whom food and water is no longer affordable as a result of reduced rainfall and soil productivity. Unless desertification can be mitigated, this migration trend can only intensify.
What does «desertification» mean?
We ordinary people in general do not fully understand that this is not only a reduction of the biological and economic productivity of the land. It is the creeping, inexorable impossibility of life on it, whether for humans, other animals, or plants. Forests on Earth occupy about 30% of the total land area. They are the lungs of our planet, they influence climate change and are the habitat of many species of plants and animals. Therefore, reducing the area of forests makes living on the planet not only less comfortable, but eventually impossible.
Sustainable forest management plays a crucial role in tackling climate change.
One of the methods of rational use of forest resources, especially the use of wood as fuel, is the development and use of alternative energy sources. By this, we do not mean only the capture of natural energy from the sun, the wind or the tides. “Alternative” energy sources must include any sources of energy which are not widely adopted at this time.
Wood char can also be used as a very effective soil conditioner. If incorporated into impoverished soil it can increase humic content, improve structure and moisture retention, and promote development of a healthy soil flora. This has been known and demonstrated for many centuries, in the use of “Terra Preta” by the peoples of South America. More recently, soil scientists have carried out controlled experiments which give an up-to-date endorsement of the benefits.
Waste management companies can make a significant contribution to the conservation of fertile soils and forests. Using innovative technologies, a healthy environment can be preserved for future generations. The most important task is to consider carefully the impact of human activity on the environment.
All GreenPower divisions set themselves environmental goals and are doing everything possible to reduce, re-use or recycle waste. This allows us to not only save and re-use resources, but also to prevent environmental pollution. We believe that we can only influence others, if we change our own behaviour first.