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> Planting Trees for Women and Planet:, Wangari Maathai Replenishes the Earth
eYe-reEs
post Sep 29 2010, 09:26
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So many environment books focus on doom and gloom, sacrifice and fear, and us versus them, and often that is what sells. As politicians and even religious leaders bicker endlessly over the true way to save the world, environmental pioneer Wangari Maathai got to work, organizing women and planting trees and, in 2004, becoming the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Her new book is a deceptively simple call for integrating spirituality and environmentalism. In Replenishing the Earth, Maathai speaks of the commonality of spiritual traditions around the world, with special mention of the Kikuyu and Christian traditions with which she grew up. Maathai's words point out the unity and interconnectedness from which true environmentalism springs.

Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, which aims to reduce deforestation while supporting women with revenue by the simple act of planting trees. Seedlings become a source of income to poor rural women even as the air and biodiversity are improved and soil and water conservation enabled. Since its founding in 1977, the Green Belt Movement is responsible for planting some 40 million trees across Africa, while empowering women to stand up for the rights of themselves and their communities.

Maathai's vision of unity extends beyond the human race to all living things: "When we reflect on the sacred groves and the spiritual and symbolic weight we have given to trees and forests, it seems self-evident that not only have trees been our constant companions, but we would quite literally not be human if we didn't perhaps feel regret when a tree disappears from the landscape. For when it does, a fundamental concept from the Garden of Eden also disappears."

"Don't worry, there are millions of other trees...."
She writes: "I believe that we need to rediscover our common experience with other creatures on Earth, and recognize that we have gone through the evolutionary process with them." She recounts her moment of realization while visiting a logging operation: "As I watched the tree fall, teared welled in my eyes. The timber company representative noticed that I had become emotional. 'Don't worry,' he said, 'There are millions of other trees out there in the forest.'" That simple statement embodied the short-sightedness and the blindness to waste that has plagued developed countries, which have so little forest left, and developing countries, whose forests are rapidly disappearing even as consumption has grown.

In this beautiful little video, Maathai tells the story of the hummingbird who saw a problem and tried to help.



Protecting the Environment, Fostering Peace
In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Maathai summed up the indelible connections between social and environmental justice, between peace and valuing the earth's resources:
“It is evident that many wars are fought over resources which are now becoming increasingly scarce. If we conserved our resources better, fighting over them would not then occur…so, protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace…those of us who understand the complex concept of the environment have the burden to act. We must not tire, we must not give up, we must persist.”

Like the hummingbird, Maathai has consistently and doggedly done her best. And her best is truly special.

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eYe-reEs
post Sep 29 2010, 10:09
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Planting Trees for 10:10:10

On October 10th 2010 the planet is getting to work on climate change! GBM are leading on tree planting for the 10:10:10 campaign launched by 10:10 and 350.org. The day is all about individual actions, so why not sign up to plant a tree, or 10, or 110?!

www.1010global.org
www.350.org

register to plant a tree for 10:10:10*

How to plant your own tree in 10 easy steps from the GBM field team:

1. The ideal time to plant a tree is during the rainy season in the tropics and subtropics (e.g. Africa, South Asia and South America), or during the dormant season in temperate zones – after leaf drop or before bud break (e.g. Europe, North America).
2. Try to choose the seed of a tree from your country or one that will provide fruit or something you will enjoy in years to come.

3. The seed can then be sewn in a seed bed or seedling container (preferably biodegradable), prepared with a mixture of sand, compost and soil. It will need to be kept in the shade and watered before and after germination – reduce the frequency of watering and shade as the seedling grows.
4. Once it has developed in to a small plant, dig a hole at least twice the width of the root ball to allow the roots to spread out. Remove the tree from its container, carefully cut off broken roots, and slightly loosen the root ball.

5. Holding the tree by its root ball, place the tree in the planting hole and spread the roots outwards. Make sure the soil line of the tree is higher than the surface of the surrounding hole.
6. Shovel some soil into the planting hole, and make sure the tree is straight. Fill the hole gently but firmly.
7. It is better not to apply fertilizer at the time of planting - simply water the seedling thoroughly to settle the soil. Do not stake the tree; the sooner the tree can stand alone, the sooner it will become strong.
8. If you are planting more than one tree, try to space trees well to avoid competition for air and soil nutrients, and to encourage the growth of branches.
9. Provide follow up care: Protect the tree from pests and diseases by removing weeds and unwanted plants as they will compete with tree roots for moisture and nutrients. Protect it from damage by livestock if you're in a rural location!
10. Finally, provide water if needed – especially during the first few months. Watch out for yellowing of leaves, and maintain good air circulation by pruning.

Enjoy your tree and know that it will help sequester carbon and provide so much more for you and the environment for years to come!

"We have a responsibility to protect the rights of generations, of all species, that cannot speak for themselves today. The global challenge of climate change requires that we ask no less of our leaders, or ourselves.” Prof Wangari Maathai.



If you would like to plant a tree through GBM, you can DO SO HERE

It costs approximately £1 or $2 to plant and nurture a tree through the Green Belt Movement approach in Kenya. The Green Belt Movement isn't just about putting trees in the ground, it encompasses SO MUCH MORE

Trees and forests play a major role in tackling climate change; you can find out more on GBM and Climate Change HERE



And finally, why not take a look at this to see what everyone else is up to on the 10th of October:

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