Nelly Bassily | April 19, 2010
There are many excellent reasons for farmers to plant trees on their land and in their community. To name a few: trees help prevent soil erosion and moderate the local temperature; fruit and nut trees can provide food and income; trees can provide fodder for livestock and bees. Planting trees can alleviate problems caused by deforestation, and it can also contribute to better livelihoods.
Of course, it is important for farmers and communities to choose the right trees. The trees should serve the needs of the people who plant them and be suitable for the local environment. The planting of eucalyptus trees in parts of Africa has become very controversial. While these trees are prized for growing quickly, they can create environmental problems. As we learned in this week’s story, eucalyptus trees require a lot of water. They also prevent other trees or plants from growing in the same area.These online articles discuss eucalyptus and how trees affect local water levels:
-“Strategic tree planting could save water in dry areas”: http://www.scidev.net/en/news/strategic-tree-planting-could-save-water-in-dry-ar.html
-“Eucalyptus trees deadly for Africa – Nobel Laureate”: http://www.climatemediapartnership.org/reporting/stories/eucalyptus-trees-deadly-for-africa-nobel-laureate/
What role do trees play in your listening communities? You may wish to host a call-in/text-in show inviting listeners to answer such questions as:
-Which types of trees are part of the natural environment? What role do these trees play (i.e., fuelwood, shade/shelter, social/cultural significance, environmental, etc.)?
-Which types of trees do farmers grow? Are these trees grown for crops, for animal fodder, to prevent erosion, to provide a barrier, or for other reasons?
-Have locals actively engaged in reforestation? Why did they decide to do this? What advice or support did they obtain to help them in their efforts? What are the results?
Farm Radio International has produced a wide variety of scripts on trees and forestry. We invite you to browse this list to find scripts of relevance to your listeners: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/forestry.asp.