The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has selected Kenya and Uganda as participants of a tech-assisted tree restoration study. The project’s purpose is to find sustainable tech-enabled methods to improve reforestation.
In the FAO’s The State of the World’s Forest report in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it mentioned that the “Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has developed a module to assist countries in identifying areas that are potentially suitable for restoration. Use of the module will also be piloted in Kenya and Uganda, as well as Cambodia, Myanmar and the respective government institutions in 2020–2021”. The report assessed global forest resources with the aid of satellite images.
Forests cover about 30 per cent of the world’s land area and are reducing at an alarming rate. Between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometres) of forest, according to the World Bank — an area larger than South Africa.
Thus, the FAO project is one of the several reforestation programmes focused on helping the world recover its lost forests. While appraising the tech-assisted plan, the FAO said that “In the cases where the damage has already been done, forest landscape restoration can begin to reverse the losses,” adding, “Already Kenya is on track to plant two billion trees by 2022.”
The FAO Director-General, Qu Dongyu, lamented on the causes of deforestation around the world, claiming that “agricultural expansion continues to be one of the main drivers of deforestation, while the resilience of human food systems and their capacity to adapt to future change depends on that very biodiversity”.
The project will not only be of ecological benefits to the countries participating in it but will be an advantage to all of earth’s ecology and biodiversity. Dongyu added that “to turn the tide on deforestation and biodiversity loss, we urgently need to see these solutions being scaled up as well as instil transformational change in the way we produce and consume food. We also need to conserve and manage forests and trees within an integrated landscape approach and reverse the damage done through forest restoration efforts. ”