This article is from "Figaro Magazine"
Storms, floods, heat waves, forest fires, droughts... The consequences of climate change are becoming more visible every year around the world. The causes are multiple and difficult to quantify: burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas), industrial cattle farming, nitrogen fertilizers and deforestation. Trees help regulate the climate by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO) from the atmosphere. Nearly 420 million hectares of forest have been cleared over the past four decades, often for agricultural development. The equivalent of four times the surface area of Belgium, i.e. 13 million hectares, disappears every twelve months.
Unfortunately, it is not the pious agreements reached at the climate conferences (COP28 is taking place in Dubai until 12 December) that will reverse the trend of this ecological disaster. Trees are brimming with profits. Their roots prevent soil erosion, their canopy provides shade, their leaves purify the air by absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen through photosynthesis, and then break down into nutrients. They also mitigate temperature differences by releasing water vapour and provide habitat for wildlife. Pillars of life on earth, trees appear to be one of the main levers in the fight to preserve the environment.
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With this in mind, the Yves-Rocher Foundation (Yves-rocher-fondation.org), recognized as a public utility, has been working in the field for thirty years and has already replanted more than 120 million trees around the world, as part of the Plant For Life program. And, in France alone, 5 million young shoots have been born in the last eleven years, mainly by creating hedges in our groves. As part of a partnership between the Yves-Rocher Foundation and Le Figaro Magazine, each newsstand sale of the special issue of La Terre en héritage, on June 9, 2023, was to result in the planting of a tree. Thanks to you, readers, five months later, 53,000 of them have been sown in Ethiopia with local partner Green Ethiopia.
In the name of biodiversity
Among the 22 species selected, there are coffee trees, mango trees, avocado trees, papaya trees, guava trees... Specifically, the case of Faidherbia albida (Acacia albida), which develops a gigantic crown to allow crops to thrive and livestock to feed. Leafy in the dry season, when there is no more cultivation in the fields, it feeds the animals thanks to its fodder and its very rich pods. In the rainy season, it defoliates entirely, leaving the rains and light to nourish the crops. There is also Olea africana, whose leaves are used in traditional medicine as a remedy for eye infections, sore throats, urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and back or headaches.
The seedlings are initially produced from November to June in nurseries run mainly by women, while farmers prepare the soil in the reforestation areas
Green Ethiopia, through the Yves-Rocher Foundation, collaborates with government forestry organizations and many volunteers to transplant millions of trees each year in the Sidama, Oromia and Amhara regions. The seedlings are initially produced from November to June in nurseries run mainly by women, while farmers prepare the soil in the reforestation areas. Locals then start planting activities at the beginning of the rainy season, between July and August, to give the trees the best chance of growing and surviving. After a few years, biodiversity develops: grasses, flowers, bushes, then butterflies, birds and soon the first gazelles...