Since 2018, new records have been set in terms of droughts, hottest months and driest years in centuries. The drought, heat and pests have been affecting the forests more and more since 2019 and unfortunately there is no improvement in sight in 2020 either. In Germany there was the most severe forest damage in over 200 years. Fires and storms have greater effects, because of the large amount of damaged wood and the tree damage, there are more problems with pests and fungal attack. Fine dust and environmental toxins from agriculture give many plants and animals the rest, especially insects such as bees suffer from environmental destruction. Air pollution, insecticides and pesticides are not only a danger for bees, they also endanger many other species, especially in areas of agriculture and livestock farms. Many of the typical trees and forests in forestry are monocultures and conifers such as douglas firs, spruces, pines, larches and firs – unfortunately they do not offer much nectar. Almost 80 percent of the conifers were felled because of damage. At just under 70 percent, the proportion of damaged wood in 2019 was more than three times as high as in 2010. As already described in the article on the Leipzig Oak Park of Diversity project, even strong tree species such as oaks are affected. Whether from pests, powdery mildew or drought stress, the plants suffer very badly from drought. Like many deciduous trees, oaks are deep-rooted, which draw water from the lower soil layers. What they don’t need themselves, they release closer to the surface. This makes oak a good soil regulator, for example through its pronounced symbioses with microorganisms and fungi. Oaks and other robust trees suffer from climate change, as do many people and animals. Damage to trees and forests is not only caused by fire, drought and heat waves, but also by fungus, pests, snow breaks, storms, floods and environmental toxins – as well as air and water pollution.
There are around four billion hectares of forest on earth. There are around 60,000 tree species worldwide and over 10,000 of them are threatened with extinction. According to an assessment by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), more than half of European tree species are endangered. Of the approximately 450 tree species, 265 do not occur on any other continent. More than 150 species are threatened, 66 species are at the highest level of endangerment and therefore close to extinction. In total, more than 28,000 animal and plant species are listed as endangered worldwide. These are data and statistics from recent years and some of the figures are already out of date, especially after the massive droughts and forest fires. It can be assumed that many more species are now threatened and in some regions even extinct.
According to climate research, long-term studies and weather experts, extreme drought is becoming normal in Europe in summer. In spring there is also a lack of water for healthy plant growth in many places around the world. The soils and forests can hold less water because the important reservoirs are not only dried out but damaged, i.e. the storage capacity is reduced and in some cases reduced for years. If middle and deeper soil layers harden, humus layers decay to dust or are destroyed, even a lot of rain does not help at first. It then takes years of moderate rain and much plant growth until these soil layers are loosened and watered again. Trees, hedges and other plants that can form complex, strong and deep roots need a few years to loosen middle and deep soil layers. Many plants lose branches, leaves and fruit during a drought or extreme drought. The proportion of trees with significant crown thinning increased to about 35 percent in 2019. If the trees and plants are generally weakened, they are more susceptible to parasites and other pests such as bark beetles, jewel beetles and processionary moth. In most cases, the damaged wood cannot remain in the forest. Much of this wood is not suitable for wood processing or high-quality products for the construction and furniture industries. Often the only option left is to process it into inferior wood products such as chipboard or wood pellets. A lot of damaged wood has been coming onto the market since 2018 and the price of wood has collapsed dramatically, the forecasts for 2021 and 2022 do not look any better. There is currently so much wood per year that would normally be enough for three years or more. The forest and wood industries are recording massive losses, and even cheap oak is already being sold as firewood. Forest companies and forest owners will have to work for a long time to compensate and repair the damage of recent years.
Future challenges, conflicts, wars and crises because of the worldwide water availability and water supply
The water reserves in the soil are becoming increasingly scarce, the soils are becoming drier overall. It has been relatively dry in Germany since 2015. The past two years exceeded the previous record drought of 1976. At that time it was exceptionally dry for five years and some tree species were replaced or supplemented by drought-resistant species such as hornbeam, service tree and field maple. But the adaptation of forests to the crisis and forest restructuring makes no sense if the groundwater will levels sink, lakes, rivers and water reservoirs partially dry up. Dry periods in winter are also a big problem, because when there is no snow there is much less water due to the melting of snow. The problem has been known for a long time, for example the lack of water supply due to the disappearance of glaciers and large areas of snow or ice. When mountains and oceans absorb more sun, the planet heats up even faster, especially at the North Pole. Fires and very hot times in northern areas of Russia also accelerate the thawing of the permafrost soil. Similar to the largest share of the greenhouse gas methane from agriculture or livestock farming, methane is released by the decomposition of the thawed biomass. As this happens in a very short time, the atmosphere, biosphere and weather systems cannot simply compensate for this, resulting in extreme climate changes and an increase in extreme weather conditions. For some years now, climate researchers have been able to prove the connection between extreme drought and severe flooding. In the meantime, there have been several fires, droughts and floods of the century, not only in Germany and Europe – but unfortunately also in Africa, America, Asia and India.
According to various surveys, around 80 percent are very concerned about the persistent drought. In France, Poland, the Czech Republic and other European countries, the spring was marked by low rainfall this year. French forests are very much endangered by the drought years and the hot summer of 2019. It was one of the deadliest heat waves in all of Europe, killing thousands of humans. The harmful effects of the droughts can be clearly seen on satellite images, many brown and gray fields in Europe and many large cities such as Berlin are affected. It affects especially regions in the north and east, in principle all federal states are affected. The cities in particular need more greenery, as they can heat up much more as the surrounding area. What you see more and more often are dry meadows, trees and bushes. The parks and water areas are therefore just as important as the greening of roofs and facades. The soil moisture, the total groundwater level and the groundwater levels in different regions of Germany are too low, at least in relation to normal amounts of precipitation and water levels. In April 2020, there was far too little rainfall in almost all federal states; the states of Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thuringia were particularly affected. The soil moisture in the topsoil and total soil is simply too little for many plants. Due to the lack of water available to plants, drought stress or water stress quickly occurs. The photosynthesis of the plants and the growth decrease. If the usable soil water continues to fall, plant water stress occurs and the plants begin to dry up.
The drought monitor of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research showed that the total soil in large parts of Germany was characterized by extreme to extraordinary drought in April and midsummer 2020. Similar to the drought monitor from the Environmental Research Center in Leipzig, there is also a research project in Switzerland called Drought CH or Trockenheit.ch, where information on the current situation is shown. The colleagues also summarize a lot of interesting data from the last few years. Such information is becoming more and more important, especially if conflicts over water resources increase in the future, whether in the energy industry for cooling or in agriculture for agricultural irrigation. It affects many European countries. If the water reserves become increasingly scarce, conflicts of use over water resources can be intensified considerably. The use of water, water resources and water management must become more economical or more sustainable so that there is not another water crisis in the next few years. Using ponds, water towers and underground water reservoirs to collect rainwater makes more and more sense, especially when you consider that around 80 percent of all irrigation throughout Germany is done with groundwater. An increasing demand for water from agriculture contrasts with other usage interests and problems, such as the public supply of drinking water, over 70 percent of which is obtained from groundwater. In addition, forests consume a lot of groundwater in dry times, this can affect rivers and other waters. The drought year 2018 and 2019 severely dried out many soils and water reservoirs, to compensate this it takes many years of rain above the usual annual average. Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony are the federal states with the lowest rainfall. Specific figures can be found on the relevant weather portals and statistics pages.
Forest dieback, desertification and expanding deserts in Europe
Due to the third year of drought in a row, there will also be considerable problems for the plant world in winter and spring 2020, as many soils and plants will not be able to recover so easily under these extreme conditions. The garden, park and forest maintenance is therefore more important than ever this year, every citizen should lend a hand in his spare time, even if it are just a few buckets of water for the tree in front of the door or some irrigation for bushes, hedges or trees at the streets. Unfortunately, awareness of sustainable use and the problem of water waste is still not taken seriously. The production of one kilo of beef requires around 15,000 liters of water, pork almost 6,000 and chicken 4,300 liters. The average water footprint in Germany is 3,900 liters per person per day. This figure includes the amount of water that is used for the production of consumed food and goods in one’s own country, but also the water that is needed, for example, for the manufacture of clothing or electrical appliances abroad. This also applies to ‘more ecological’ electric cars, which unfortunately are still made with a lot of coal, plastic and oil. The coal electricity for car production and rail traffic alone is astronomical.
2019 was the hottest year in the history of Europe, according to scientific findings, with the drought year 2018 and the drought summer 2020, it is now the worst drought in a row for 250 years. The droughts and heat waves of recent years clearly show that the climate crisis is having a significant impact on our lives, the environment, consumption and our economy. An adaptation of the plants to the more extreme climate occurs naturally, but should be supported and improved by sustainable strategies of climate change adaptation. This should not only apply to crops or to livestock, but also especially to endangered species. The selfish nature, way of life and work in certain areas of society and industry, such as fossil energy, monotonous agriculture and forestry, is harming the environment. Selfishness, ignorance and little will to change in the direction of sustainability, nature and environmental protection have produced a destructive chemical industry, energy industry, aviation, shipping, heavy industry, monoculture agriculture and monotonous forestry.
The biodiversity, soil and water quality have suffered extremely, valuable landscapes and habitats have been destroyed or have been lost due to rigorous greed for profit and environmental degradation. If things continue like this, even regardless of the climate crisis, there will soon be no more fertile land, only dust and desert. Greening Deserts Climate analyses and long-term studies, in coordination with international climate researchers and climate models, have repeatedly confirmed an increase in extreme weather conditions – even before the drought years or floods of the century, as in Europe and India in 2018 and 2019. There have been several warnings that extreme droughts and floods will become more frequent in Europe, initially in southern Europe and, with further drought years, also in central Europe. This has now even been confirmed in a study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig. Now all we need are realistic solutions and feasibility studies to counteract these extremely rapid changes. A wind of change is blowing.
Usually the jet stream with the high and low pressure areas moves from west to east and brings Central Europe a mix of sun, clouds and rain. However, with the accelerated climate change, the high pressure areas tend to persist for weeks over some European regions in summer. As a result, there are long heat waves and droughts, in the low-pressure areas there are more frequent heavy rain and floods. Various temperature and heat records have been set over the years, in 2020 there were many cold summer nights and very large temperature fluctuations. Due to the many dry and windy days, the drought has increased overall. The logging caused by wind and storm damage amounted to 18.5 million cubic meters in 2018. That is four times as much compared to the previous year. There are many forest fires because the soil and top layers with branches, leaves or needles are very dry. The risk of fire is also very high for agriculture, especially when dry fields catch fire, for example from careless drivers and smokers or from broken glass. A field fire, forest fire or forest fire is no fun because it can spread to settlements.
In many German cities there is a state of emergency, as the asphalt and concrete deserts often heat up more than the surrounding areas can quickly reach heat records of over 40 degrees. Many people, animals and plants die. In the Frankfurt metropolitan area, thousands of dead trees will probably have to be felled due to the weeks of drought and heat in the midsummer 2020. Particularly in the driest areas of Germany, many villages and towns are affected by the tree death. Due to the drought stress and plant water stress that has damaged and weakened the plants over the years, a relatively short heat phase is enough to give the plants the rest, then often watering them does not help. On the contrary, too much water at once can even damage the plants, for example if the plant cannot absorb much water due to a large part of dried up leaves, there is then a risk of accelerated root rot at the high temperatures, which can occur more often with tap water and dried out roots. If many of the deeper soil layers have completely dried out, the water cannot drain off properly, and waterlogging then forms in some places. Gardeners and plant experts know the problem. So if possible use rainwater and then not too much at once, preferably over a large area and spread over a few evenings. If the soil is not too hard, you can put drainage in some places with a pointed stick. If the soil is slightly damp overall, the rainwater can then penetrate better into deeper layers and root areas.
Climate change knows no borders, large parts of Europe are affected by drought and water scarcity. We need an adaptation and improvement of the water management or regulation as soon as possible in order to secure the public drinking water and industrial water supply in the long term. The fear of the consequences of a third year of drought is great, especially if the water table drops, entire rivers and lakes dry up. The drought threatens historical gardens and even well-known parks, the drought also has an indirect effect on all plant growth in the area. Only if the spread of healthy and relatively wild nature is promoted by favorable conditions nature as a whole can recover and regenerate. In the case of monoculture agriculture and monotonous forestry, this is difficult, but not impossible. Some consequences can only be felt years later, as environmental and weather systems sometimes react very slowly. It is similar to the nitrate or slurry problem, where in some extreme cases the groundwater wil be polluted over the years.
Really serious consequences for agriculture are still to come, probably in the years 2025 to 2030. From 2013 to 2015 there have been massive changes in global weather systems and cycles. Many of these changes also occur gradually and over long periods of time, so they cannot be seen as clearly as the consequences of a drought summer. So that you can really change something sustainably and positively, you should think in time windows of over 10 years or even decades. It is frightening to see even natural mixed forests which are suffering from climate change. The drought years even have a strong impact on humid areas, as the groundwater level often falls due to the long dry periods. Wetlands and bogs can dry out, which increases the likelihood of bog and forest fires. In addition, there are the problems of peat extraction and the drainage of landscapes for agriculture. The diverse forest conversion and the expansion of wetlands such as floodplains and moors must finally be given priority. Many nature reserves, national parks, natural regions and near-natural landscape protection areas should be expanded and connected, if possible for example with flower strips and wild meadows. Protected areas in nature and landscape protection should also be expanded and include urban regions and larger city parks or city forests. Special wilderness biotopes for a relatively free development of really ’natural nature’ should be made possible in the protected areas. Because nature is not the same as nature, at least according to the understanding of society and people.
Soil quality and healthier soils through more ecological forestry and sustainable agriculture, as well as better water management, are important to mitigate the negative consequences and effects of climate change. The already often mentioned building up of humus, cultivation of deep-rooting plants, soil improvement and green manure plants can contribute significantly to soil formation and improvement of the overall soil. Protective layers with ground cover and wildflower meadows can protect the soil in particularly hot and dry times. The principle applies, just let it grow and support nature in the development of biodiversity with natural seeds. Naturally with suitable species depending on the region and vegetation zone, i.e. suitable plants of / for mountainous areas, wetlands, grasslands, meadows and forests. To do this, one should think more about aquatic plants and then use them to improve water bodies. Because a large part of the rivers and lakes in Germany is in a precarious state, at least when it comes to the ecological aspect, neighboring agriculture, shipping and biodiversity. Without ecosystem services, human life on earth would not be possible. Worldwide, around 60% of the ecosystem services examined by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment are in a critical state; they are at great risk from environmental pollution and environmental damage.
We all have to help make whole landscapes more diverse and resistant to climate extremes, including urban regions and cities – for this purpose, among other things, the Urban Greening Camp project started. More urban greening, solar and water surfaces as well as lighter surfaces can cool down urban areas, so-called for near-natural recreation areas and biological diversity. Agriculture based on solidarity and community gardens are also good solutions that can bring more biodiversity and community profits.
Here are a few more suggestions for improvement.
Professional advice and recommendation to good addresses and contacts in the above areas for corresponding consideration is possible, for this you can simply contact the author of this article by email.
Greening Deserts analyses and research projects have been dealing with climate change and extreme weather conditions such as exceptional heat, drought and floods since 2016. Despite all the optimism, the prognosis for the coming years does not look rosy. It takes a lot of effort, motivation and support to be able to work and live normally throughout the crisis. Cohesion is more important than ever in these times, egoism and ignorance only make things worse. We need more solidarity and courage, whether through useful information, the exchange of experiences or other meaningful actions. Simply going out into the streets unfortunately does not bring as much as taking part in constructive actions and actively participating in constructive actions for species protection, climate protection, nature conservation and environmental protection. For example planting trees, watering urban trees and plants, sowing wildflowers and caring for parks and meadows. Leaving this to others like the green space authorities or city cleaning is not a solution. In some countries or regions the corona crisis can result in massive financial problems and financial crises. There will be a lack of funds and resources for many of important environmental tasks or work in future. We all need to hold together in relation to the health of us all and the environment. Healthy ecosystems are the basis for a healthy life.
The global economic crisis and COVID-19 recession (Great Lockdown) will occupy society and the economy for many years to come. In principle there are several crises, e.g. the education crisis, health crisis, cultural crisis and social crisis. Greening Deserts articles also deal with these topics, especially in relation to the effects, consequences and causes of climate change. Many potential solutions are offered, but most of them can only be solved together – some of the suggestions have already been implemented personally or privately. I hope that many will follow. Good additions, ideas and suggestions for improvement are of course always welcome. @ feedback.greeningdeserts.com. Your friend of nature, Oliver Gediminas Caplikas. The next article deals with climate change adaptation and urban greening on many levels, for example with vertical farming. Heat-resistant and drought-tolerant plant species as well as special climate change woody plants will play an important role. Some of the plants are even drought-resistant or have a high ‘drought resistance’.
Climate protection, nature conservation and environmental protection is also species protection. These topics are important not only for the International Climate Week and international world days such as Arbor Day, World Tree Day or World Forest Day. In these times humanity has to deal with important climate problems in relation to the economy, ecology, environmental protection, nature conservation and sustainability almost every day, week, month and year. Like the corona crisis, the climate crisis knows no borders. It concerns us all. Global environmental awareness, sustainable living, more sustainable work and production can improve the climate and reduce human-made climate change effects, such as man-made deforestation, desertification and global warming. We can cool planet earth with more green landscapes, urban greening and diverse forests worldwide. Grasslands and wetlands play a special role in this.
Show that you can live and work really sustainably by saving energy, food, water and other natural resources. Reduce waste and pollution, especially plastic waste. Use alternative packaging and ecological products like bamboo or hemp products like Hemp Papers or Rice Straw Papers. Reduce deforestation, desertification and land degradation by using alternative heating and ecological building materials instead of wood. Do more for green places in your city, try to establish more community gardens, city parks, city forests, urban farming areas, fascade and rooftop gardens. The future of sustainable agriculture is ecofarming, aquaponics, hydroponics, permaculture, organic and vertical farming – even in urban areas. With urban greening on a large scale urban areas can help to cool down planet earth. Cleantech, greentech, green building, sustainable living, sustainable working and sustainable architecture is the future of sustainable building, sustainable production and sustainable cities. With large-scale urban greening, urban areas can help cool down planet earth. We all can learn a lot of desert cultures and desert cities, bedouins and indigenous people in arid landscapes or drylands. Many towns and regions around the Mediterranean Sea are also good examples, doing things like choosing light colors for their houses and roofs – but still missing more green roofs and rooftop solar on the buildings. Fascade greening and fascade solar could be a good addition to urban development in future. We need to be fast because of the desertification and rising droughts in Europe. The deserts and drylands of Africa are moving toward South Europe!
House boats or ships, mobile housing and underwater buildings can expand architecture and environmentally friendly habitats. Bamboo, hemp wood, rice straw building materials and fuels could reduce deforestation significantly. These methods would accelerate the process towards more climate neutral houses and urban areas. And again, the future of real sustainable cities, energy and traffic transition is AI and Cleantech, Energy Efficiency and Green Building, Greentech and Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Living and Urban Greening, Sustainable Production and Sustainable Consumption, Sustainable Transport and Sustainable Working, Transparent Solar concepts and designs. Sustainable Agriculture, Ecological Forestry and Organic Farming in relation to community gardening, aquaponics, hydroponics, worldwide greening and permaculture projects can support the changes or transitions. Not to forget Sustainable Aviation, Sustainable Shipping and Sustainable Tourism. Think about new markets like a Plastic Fishing Market and Recycling Ships for example.
A good formula for real sustainable living and sustainable working is: Repair, Reuse, Recycle, Replace and Upcycle. – especially plastic. #RRRRU
Greening Deserts sustainable projects and initiatives such as Greening Camps and the Trillion Trees Initiative focuses on climate protection, education, research, the environment and species protection. We not only want to reforest or regreen the man-made deserts, arid areas and wasteland in Europe and Africa, we want also to create international platforms for sustainable economy, education, culture and science. The greening camps will also be climate camps and research camps for innovative cleantech and greentech developments. The camps will involve every region and culture in the greening and development process. The camps will also be a platform for the respective regions, with training and education in the foreground. There will be additional spaces or rooms for a library, lounge, workshop and a media room. This can enable many community activities and different types of events to be carried out, also online and virtually. International institutions, organizations, partners, projects, investors and sponsors are cordially invited to join our community network and projects!
There is a wide range of information about these topics, including innovative developments and real sustainable solutions to solve climate crisis, food, energy and water problems with global impact. Most of the solutions were confirmed by science and feasibility studies or similar concepts. International institutions and organizations were informed many times about Greening Deserts concepts, project developments and connected projects. @Agrophotovoltaik, Desert Bamboo Africa, Greening Coasts, Greening Drones, Greenhouse Ship, Green Ring Africa, Great Green Wall North Africa, Seeding Balloon, Transparent Solar,…
We not only need more actions, initiatives and innovations in the field of climate protection, nature and environmental protection. We need more action and effective solutions in relation to sustainable living and sustainable working in all areas, from big to small! Because the main problem and the main cause of the pollution are not only the car, coal and heavy industry, as well as agriculture, but it is every single one who causes and pushs the global warming and other negative climate changes by its consumption. This over-consumption and overproduction especially in areas of unhealthy monoculture food, IT technology, X-cars, smartphones and other pointless products are not just excessive waste but a meaningless destruction of resources and lives. Why should every year billions of animals and other life forms (animals and plants) die for humans if they can not even consume so many products. In some countries more than the half is thrown away, much products outdate or spoil because it is not effectively distributed or shared. Hundreds of millions of children go hungry every day and at the same time so many destroy and waste foods. In terms of food for example, one should improve preservation, logistics and distribution systems, use sustainable transport, drying and refrigeration systems more effectively worldwide instead of continuing to produce more – clearly, the solution is generally fairer distribution or sharing. If you extrapolate everything, the world produces food for over 10 billion people, countless mobile phones and notebooks for every single person.
Why do humans need so many products – more than they can even consume? Most of it becomes garbage. Metals, plastics and toxins get into the environment and sometimes even into our food. Recycling uses a lot of energy and resources. We need radical changes through more sustainable, cleaner and more sensible procurement, energy use, supply chains and production; we need intelligent, on-demand systems everywhere, so that products worldwide will be produced only as needed. In some cases, of course, essential products must be stored or produced for stock, like basic food or products like rice, for example. There should be reserves and storage for emergency cases, fast–rising demands or other critical things. But we and the world really don’t need hundreds of the same products that will become junk or scrap. Producers worldwide need to improve their operations in these areas, establishing Cleantech, Greentech, Sustainability, AI and On-Demand Systems. Large companies, as well as corporations, should simply produce less and only based on real demand by real consumers. At the very least, products which are constantly not consumed or thrown away – many meats such as chicken, pork and beef – should not be overproduced. They produce not only manure and methane which produce particulate matter, but they or the production wastes water and pollutes the groundwater and the environment in the long term.
We finally need a rethink in forestry and agriculture in terms of a more sustainable economy like Agroforestry, EcoFarming, EcoForestry, Mixed Culture and Permaculture. According to the latest findings and long-term studies, agriculture is responsible for most of the air pollution (approximately 40 percent) and the resulting water pollution! Years of deforestation had dried out whole landscapes and caused massive loss of wetlands, bogs and marshlands which can convert toxins and store up to fifty times as much CO2 as rainforests. Additionally, liquid manure and methane are a massive problem because the gases in the atmosphere create new fine dust, contaminating the groundwater for many years to come. In the coming Greening Camps, not only should these areas be researched, but also research the fields of green and clean technologies. The focus is on aquaponics, hydroponics, greenhouse, biowaste and water management, as well as new urban farming innovations.
Droughts in Germany and Europe: Drought threatens soils, agriculture and forests
It has been relatively dry in Germany since 2015, and the drought and heat waves in 2018 have seriously affected the environment. The soils of the forest are partly drier than the soils of grassland or greenland. The soil has dried out, even down to the deep layers. The groundwater very often sinks below critical levels, which significantly effects forests and bodies of water such as rivers and lakes. The water reserves are becoming increasingly scarce. Conflicts of use because of water scarcity can be exacerbated considerably. Water use and water management must become more economical and more sustainable so that there won’t be a real water crisis in the years to come. Using ponds, water towers and underground water reservoirs to collect rainwater makes more and more sense. This can be done with foils, trenches, solar pumps and agrophotovoltaic surfaces. Intelligent drip irrigation also saves a lot of water, because in dry times an incredible amount of water is wasted through irrigation or evaporation.
The fear of the consequences of another year of drought after 2019 is great, especially when drinking water becomes scarce and entire rivers or lakes dry out. After the exceptionally dry April and July, the probability of another year of drought becomes greater, but this cannot be definitively said until the end of 2020. Persistent drought threatens biodiversity, botanical gardens and well-known parks, even if many plants are watered; the aridity of the surrounding area has an indirect effect on all plant growth. An unhealthy environment in the neighborhood also affects healthy areas in the region; only if the spread of healthy nature is promoted by favorable conditions, can nature as a whole recover and regenerate. This is difficult, however, with monocultures, polluting agriculture and monotonous forestry. It is possible to change into a more sustainable agriculture and ecological forestry, still this year.
Since environmental and weather systems sometimes react very slowly, some consequences can only be felt years later, similar to the nitrate or slurry problem, where in some extreme cases the groundwater is still polluted years later. Many of the slow and creeping processes will have really serious consequences for agriculture. We will all have to live with the short-term and long-term effects of the climate crisis. Like nature, we can adapt to a certain extent, but active reduction of the problems and causes are of critical importance. Air quality is particularly important, because this also affects bodies of water and groundwater. According to the latest scientific research, air pollution from agriculture is even higher than pollution from traffic and the coal industry combined. This is not only due to the fine dust from dry fields, slurry spreading, keeping four, etc.; a big problem is the ammonia, which creates new fine dust in higher atmospheric layers. In the end, everything ends up in the water affectingthe water cycle and water quality.
Soil quality and healthier soils through more complex or versatile forestry and more ecological agriculture, as well as better water management, are important to mitigate the consequences of climate change. The use of humus generating plants, deep roots, soil improvement and green manure plants can significantly contribute to soil formation and improvement of the overall soil. Some plants even have the potential to save the climate. Industrial hemp, for example, and hemp plants promote biodiversity and improve the moisture content; the leaves and plant roots can also form humus. The pronounced roots loosen the soil. The hemp fibers of the stems can be used for hemp paper, hemp cardboard and other packaging. Undemanding types of hemp are suitable for this, as they can cope well with drought and do not have to be fertilized.
Protective layers with ground cover and wildflower meadows can protect the soil in particularly hot and dry times. The principle applies, just let it grow and support nature in the development of biodiversity with natural seeds. Work naturally with suitable species depending on the region and vegetation zone, i.e. suitable plants for mountainous areas, wetlands, grasslands, meadows and forests. To do this, one should think more about aquatic plants which can be used to improve water bodies. A large part of the rivers and lakes in Germany are in a precarious state, at least when it comes to the ecological aspect, neighboring agriculture, shipping and loss of biodiversity. This is also a problem of other European states. The economy and politics really need to care about the ongoing desertification and rising droughts in Europe. The deserts and drylands of Africa moving towards South Europe! The southern regions need fast climate adaption models and resilience plans to prevent worst case scenarious. Droughts, floods and rising fires are just the tip of the iceberg.
We all have to help make whole landscapes more diverse and more resistant to climate extremes, including urban regions and cities. For this purpose, among other things, the Urban Greening Camp project started. Solidarity agriculture and community gardens are also a good solution which can bring more biodiversity and community profits. Show courage, solidarity and support for a healthy nature and more sustainable life on planet Earth. Show that you can really live and work sustainably by using energy or electricity, water and natural resources sparingly. Avoid overconsumption and pollution, especially plastic and air pollution from cars, planes and ships. Avoid environmental pollution of any kind, especially through the use of fossil fuels and polluting fuels such as coal. Reduce plastic waste and uses alternative materials such as bamboo, hemp and rice straw paper. Remember your human connection to the planet, and work for a better and fairer climate.
Clean air, fresh water and a healthy environment are human rights. Climate protection, nature protection and environmental protection are also plant protection, animal protection and human protection or species protection, in general! We should all be more aware about climate justice and environmental justice; especially in future when a huge part of humanity will be affected by the climate crisis, extreme weather and rising sea levels.
Greening Deserts sustainable projects and initiatives such as Greening Camps and the Trillion Trees Initiative have been working on sustainable projects for society, a healthier nature and a more diverse environment for years. The projects mainly serve the protection of species and environmental protection. We want to reforest or regreen man-made deserts, arid regions and wastelands in Europe and Africa, as well as create international platforms for more sustainable research, economy, education, culture and science. The greening camps will also be climate and research camps for innovative cleantech and greentech developments. The camps can include almost any region and culture in the greening and development process. Larger camps will have an energy storage park and maybe even expanded to a cleantech and greentech campus or science park.
Greening Deserts sustainable projects like the Greening Camps want to establish innovative developments like Agrophotovoltaik and Energy Storage Parks, Greening Drones and Seeding Balloons, Transparent Solar and Vertical Greenhouses. With the first Greening Camp and adequate fundings all the sustainable developments could finally be accelerated and developed worldwide. The projects were founded and initiated by the Greening Deserts founder. He informed institutions, organisations and even invited governments to join these projects and initiatives, as well as to the Greenhouse Ship, Plastic Fishing and Trillion Trees Initiative. If for example each nation plants approx 2 billion trees, we the humanity could reach the goal to plant one trillion trees very fast and we could really cool down the planet on a large scale. It would also protect and save countless species which are endangered by extinction. There are many campaigns and initiatives in this relation and we all are connected to reach the global goals faster.
The Greening Camp keyplants like bamboo, beans, hemp and sunflowers will improve the soils, underground water and waters. Drylands and wastelands can be turned into fertile lands easily. Hemp improves the soils in just a few years, after this other soil improving plants, environmental friendly crops and trees can be planted. Hemp will be just a side product of the forestation or greening processes, it can be delivered to hemp product producers like the hemp paper branch and hemp wood industry. The Greening Camps will produce millions of tons of hemp. All would win at the end, the poor people or regions, the degraded lands or soils, the forestry, paper and wood industry – even big wood paper consumers like the book, newspaper and packaging industry. Hemp papers and hemp carton packages will save a lot of trees and will reduce deforestation significantly. Forestation.net
Since the last two years the founder informed hundreds of publishers, media companies and paper producers about these facts. Greening Deserts Camp projects and products like Hemp Papers have really big potential to reduce deforestation, land degradation, pollution and wasting resources worldwide. Each camp will have a recycling center and workshop, especially for creative plastic waste recycling and upcycling. Biowaste Management, Greenhouse Management and Water Management will improve soils, air and water quality in all camp areas. Millions of new jobs and whole new markets will be created!
Other main goals in this relation are to bring back biodiversity, typical and rare plants of all concerned region. Seed banks or stores and special greenhouses, botanical gardens or similar habitats for the most endangered species will be established at each camp. Climate protection, conservation, environmental protection and species protection are also main tasks of the camps. Of course, we can not do everything. We will exchange and share a lot with other similar institutions, organisation and projects – like with national parks, game reserves or wildlife preserves.
The Greening Camps will establish green spots, healthy environments and platforms for all regions really need better soils, clean air and fresh water. The camps will be platforms for cleantech, climate protection, conservation, culture, education, environmental protection, greentech and science. All camps will have a library, lounge and media room. Bigger camps will get an Energy Storage Park and even could be expanded to a kind of campus or science park. We exchanged with a lot of institutions about it and many liked the projects. With active, constructive and financial support by the official institutions the camps can be build very fast. We have not much time to reduce desertification, global warming, human-made climate change effects and extreme weather before the biosphere will collapse – responsible bodies and institutions need to act immediately. Many camps could be build in 2020, the case the projects will finally be supported by the African Union, EU and UN. Even refugee camps could have a greening camp area. The founder combined and researched since years much more innovative developments, technics, techniques and products. You can check them on the official project pages.
The planet earth can be cooled with more diverse forests, green and natural landscapes worldwide – especially urban regions which heat up very much each year. Bamboo, hemp wood, rice straw and other sustainable innovative building materials and fuels could significantly reduce deforestation and man-made climate change. The future of truly sustainable cities, the energy transition and transport sector are: AI and Cleantech, Energy Efficiency and Green Building, Greentech and Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Living and greening of cities, Sustainable Production and Sustainable Consumption, Sustainable Transport and Sustainable Working, Sustainable Agriculture, Ecological Forestry and Organic Farming in relation to Community Gardens, Hydroponics, Permaculture, Urban Agriculture, Vertical Farming can significantly support change or reversals. Not forget to mention Sustainable Aviation, Sustainable Shipping and Sustainable Tourism. All of these areas or topics will also play an important role at Urban Greening Camps. First camps in this relation are planned for European cities or urban areas and for open pit terrains or surface mining landscapes.
Greening Deserts projects are cultural, educational, economic, social, scientific and sustainable projects in the field of horticulture, hydroculture, sustainable agriculture and ecological forestry – but also in the fields of clean technology (CleanTech), green technologies (GreenTech) and renewable energy such as solar, water and wind energy. Electricity access, availability and reliability together with energy efficiency will be optimized at the greening and research camps. The focus is on education, sustainable developments and scientific research. Conservation and environmental protection plays a very important role, too. Main goals of the projects are to reduce deforestation, desertification, pollution and global warming on a large scale. Goals are also to improve the energy and food security, to offer innovative management, ecosystem and greening services. The projects will reform the agriculture and forestry with ecofarming, ecoforestry and permaculture methods, technics and techniques. The projects can include each region and nation in the process, especially in relation to cleantech, greentech, environmental protection, a real sustainable infrastructure and sustainable investments – Green Finance and Sustainable Finance. To manage and to share better necessary finances a special Greening Fund will be established together with international financial institutions.
It is a real chance for the world, especially for Africa and Europe to reach faster the Climate Goals and more Sustainable Development Goals together with Greening Deserts international and innovative developments. The future vision is to establish a Greening Campus on all continents and several camps for all regions who need ecological, environmental and sustainable development services. Each constructive feedback and real active support is always welcome!
You can read more about all the developments on the official project pages like Agrophotovoltaik, Energy Storage Park, Greening Coasts, Greening Camp, Greening Drone, Greenhouse Ship, Green Ring Africa, Great Green Wall North Africa, Hemp Books, Hemp Papers, Seeding Balloon, Transparent Solar,.. and on the newest projects like Plastic Fishery and Recycling Ship. Each project will get an own page or section in future.
Climate protection, nature conservation and environmental protection is also species protection. We need more environmental awareness and sustainability, sustainable living and sustainable working, in all fields or areas. We need to create a world of understanding, acceptance, respect, tolerance, compassion and consciousness.
Keynote and Update X:
The maybe most important issue, topic or point is the problem with the daily extinction of the real endangered species and wrong focus or awareness in relation to endangered species in general and most endangered species who really need to be saved – and to reduce or prevent the ongoing mass extinction really effective. It are mainly the most endangered species and keystone species which must be cared more than well known and relative protected species like elephants, hippos, lions, pandas, whales, etc.. Many of the countless programs and resources for mentioned species should be used for the most endanged and keystone species. It makes no sense to protect more and more the well know species and every day dying or even extinct so many other important species. AI, Deep Learning, Supercomputers and intelligent computing systems should be used primarely to find all the most endanged and keystone species who are recorded. Search algorithms and organisations like ACM, MA, Google, Research Gate and Wolfram Alpha should support this actively. International institutions and nations should unite in this relation. It is maybe the most important issue of the world! Afforestation.org
We have not much time to establish hundreds of camps, greenhouses and new special areas for this special species protection tasks – on land and at sea – for the most endangered species of this world. The reality is, if the most important species or keystone species like bees extinct or reach a certain low population level (MVP), humanity and much other species depending on them will die out, too. If these most important food or dependency chains and bridges collapse, even if it are relative small or partwise unknown keystone species, it can cause cascade effects similar like in the case of the permafrost problem. No panic, but every day and action in this relation counts. The only way is to unite, to focus on this problem and find fastest solutions. My tipp work out keystone species and priority lists for all the expert workgroups and worldwide institutions like universities and schools – not just in relation to climate protection, environmental or species protection. The media and public should also report mainly about this.
Don’t ignore it. Forward and share if you can, it affects us all.
Autor: Oliver Gediminas Caplikas, Leipzig, November 2019
Drought and heat are also a problem for the farmers. European farms expect harvest losses of 30 to 50 percent compared to the previous year. In parts of Germany, the soil is as dry as it has been for 50 years. Extreme drought, thunderstorms and floods often occur together and can severely affect affected countries. These extreme weather conditions are increasing not just in Africa but also in Europe, particularly hit countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, where massive forest fires and the resulting desertification increases extremely. This year, even European countries such as Germany and Poland are affected, where some regions even introduced emergency harvesting and water restrictions after the second drought. In some regions, rivers and lakes dry up, even the groundwater and drinking water is scarce. Greening Deserts has been reporting extensively on these topics for years, especially in terms of soil degradation and desertification. Large opencast mining areas (surface mining deserts), cities (concrete deserts) and urban regions also contribute to this extreme climate. Many of these consequences of man-made climate change are not exactly predictable, but can be estimated very well with today’s scientific findings in climate research. We discussed with many climate researchers, nature and environmentalists and exchanged about this problem.
Other topics such as the reform of agriculture, soil improvement and water improvement have been and will be discussed in detail. Unfortunately, we have not received any active and financial support from the responsible authorities since years. For a long time we could do research on more effective cultivation and irrigation methods with a first greening and research camp in the surface mining landscape of Leipzig (Lakeland Neuseenland) – if our inquiries and demands had been taken seriously, especially by the big parties who were informed several times. Our demands and requests for help to German foundations, especially in the field of education, nature and environmental protection were ignored or there were the usual excuses.
We hope for quick help or support, so that we can work together with all involved parties to make the coal exit and transformation of the energy industry and agriculture to clean energy and technologies (cleantech) fast and efficient. We want to cultivate bamboo, hemp and palm trees on a large scale in opencast mining areas – not just because of the benefits in these areas, but also because of new innovative developments and compensatory measures in relation to global warming. In addition, special desert plants, extremely resistant, robust and undemanding plants are explored, such as rock garden plants and desert bamboo. Thus, many useful plants for improving the quality of soil, air and water can be used not only on land, but also in urban areas and large cities. Of course we will run a diverse agriculture and gardening – this is also called ecofarming. Wild blooms and flowerbeds counteract massive bee and insect deaths or in general the massive extinction of species. As you can see Greening Deserts is not only concerned with deserts and desertification but with many other important tasks and topics. If this is not eligible .. an extensive consultation and accompaniment to appropriate funding would be really appropriate.
Visit our social and scientific pages and groups for more information. You’re welcome to discuss and to exchange with us about all these topics!
The second Greening Deserts Master Plan for desert areas such as open-pit deserts is ready and of course in continuous development.
The business plan, concept and study on sustainable greening methods, greenhouse management, forestry, agriculture and cultural economy for opencast mine and post-mining landscapes can also be adapted as needed or revised for any situation.
In the following a few special Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) and innovative ideas are briefly summarized.
Most work, services or services can be realized with sufficient resources and resources with a few helpers. With money, financial resources or support it is no problem to build fast a good time. The services are chargeable, but in some exceptions such as investments, joint ventures, sponsorships or similar collaborations may be free or mutually beneficial. Various constellations, partnerships and synergy effects are possible. Further information can be found in the Masterplan 2 and partner, investor or sponsoring concept.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein
Faith moves mountains, intelligence goes over them, wisdom goes around them, but love levels them. – Matshona Dhliwayo
You don’t climb mountains without a team, you don’t climb mountains without being fit, you don’t climb mountains without being prepared and you don’t climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident – it has to be intentional. – Mark Udall
Doubt makes the mountain that faith can shift. – German proverb
Faith can move mountains. Doubt can create them.
One goal of Greening Deserts projects is to plant over 100 billion trees worldwide, especially in Europe and Africa during the next years. Together with the nations and awesome projects like the Great Green Wall, Great Green Wall North Africa, The Green Belt Movement and the Trillion Trees Campaign we can reach the goal fast and efficient.
Alone the Sahara is an area of 9,500,000 square kilometres, this is equal 950,000,000 ha (950 million hectares). If we plant trees just on 10% of this area we could convert 95 million hectares dry and barren wasteland into fertile landscapes. We want to establish greening camps and connect schools, universities and other institutions to the Greening Deserts projects and partner programs. A broad education and culture is very important for the projects. With active participation and real support of the concerned regions and financial help of all nations and goverments we can start with first preperations still this year and in 2018 on site – and see first results still that year. With our worldwide greening and forestation (afforestation and reforestation) projects we can reduce global warming significantly. To cool down cities and urban areas (Global Cooling), more parks and green roofs (rooftop greening) are required.
Here are some interesting articles about similar projects:
Top 10 countries with largest forest areas 2017:
1. Russia – 814 million hectares of native forest.
2. Brazil – 493 million hectares of native forest.
3. Canada – 347million hectares of native forest.
4. USA – 310 million hectares of native forest.
5. China – 208 million hectares of native forest.
6. Congo – 152 million hectares of native forest.
7. Australia – 123 million hectares of native forest.
8. Indonesia – 91 million hectares of native forest.
9. Peru – 73 million hectares of native forest.
10. India – 70 million hectares of native forest.
And European countries like Germany?
It doesn’t matter how much trees you plant, a million, billion or trillion trees – each action in this direction counts. Support sustainable greening projects for a greener and better future for us all!
Excerpt of the Business Plan and Master Plan 2 in german language: Greening and Research Camps for Surface Mining Deserts: Concept and Study on Sustainable Greening Methods, Greenhouse Management, Forestry, Agriculture and Culture Industry for Surface Mining and Post-Mining Landscapes. – This is a pre-release published on 31 October 2017, Reformation Day in Germany.
Desert research, research and development of sustainable greening methods, greenhouse management, forestry, agriculture and cultural industries are the primary fields of the concept and greening deserts projects. The greening and research camp with a greenhouse, office or laboratory containers or tents for the research and development of greening and irrigation methods is the primary objective for open pit mines. Secondary objectives, such as sustainable recreational use and tourism offers, can be realized during the operation over the years and are not necessary for the successful start of the research project and base camp in the opencast mining area or a post-mining landscape. This also eliminates all associated conditions, provisions and legal regulations, since for the time being no public recreational use or tourism operation takes place. Nevertheless, forward-looking considerations and planning approaches as well as extensive points on the areas or topics were worked out and summarized in this concept. Greening Deserts projects are always planned as long-term and sustainable as possible.
Further tasks and goals of the projects are the education, research and realization of a sustainable greening, management and cultivation of all kinds of poor, barren and dry areas, landscapes (drylands) or regions. That’s why the main project u.a. Greening Deserts, which treats not only typical deserts but all types of deserts, including open-pit deserts, concrete or urban deserts. This can all be done with suitable greening and research camps, wards and centers. In this work and in the concept possibilities and ways of doing so are analyzed and discussed on the example of research and greening camps for opencast deserts, mining landscapes or post-mining landscape landscapes. The research camp should be an encounter, education and communication platform in post-mining landscapes, internally for experts, experts and scientists, and in future also publicly for all possible visitors.
For a start, the greening, nature and research projects focus on nature experiences, important experience and research in the particular area or terrain. Everything is analyzed, documented and informed about interesting findings and developments. In the course of the project, interested and competent bodies or persons will be communicated – via existing and new networks, and then on site as well. In addition to well-known environmental education instruments and programs, the active experience of nature and creative forms of exploration and experimentation should also be researched and developed. Particular attention is paid to the practice-oriented work, if possible outdoors. The motto is: away from unhealthy, artificial working and living spaces. Out of sterile offices or laboratories. Out of the house or city, work and live in healthy habitats, in a positive environments of true and true nature or natural environment.
Extensive research results, discoveries, developments and experiences in all mentioned areas of projects can be exchanged and compared with international institutions and scientific institutions. Most of the information and results are publicly or online available and will be published according to their level of development or needs. This will further enhance development and processes and can really help problem areas and poor countries (Third World / Emerging Countries). The research results, experiences and insights form a cornerstone for space gardening or space research in relation to professional greenhouse management, even for desert planets such as Mars. Also interesting would be a Mars Research Station for surface mining or post-mining landscapes. For this reason, with sufficient financial support or funding, further developments and research should be carried out, such as hydroponics, such as aquaponics or hydroponics, solar greenhouses and special biospheres.
During the first years additional places, paths and paths for recreational activities or recreational activities such as hiking and cycling can be planned and set up. For this purpose, with sufficient resources extra vantage points, experience rooms, rest areas, shelters, actuation and art objects can be realized. This is very good due to a strong presence and good contacts.. Further information (texts, pictures, lists, tables, etc.) in the concept or appendix. This concept, scientific study, market analysis and master plan was writen by Oliver Gediminas Caplikas.
Historical and cultural information on the past of the landscape and its use, also before the industrial mining period, are offered in the research camp as well as on corresponding pages on the Internet. Products such as books, pictures, photographs, films, works of art and antiques can be offered in a separate shop. Many socioeconomic factors and, above all, commercial aspects are in the area of health care, recreation, sports and tourism. There are many commercial and economic effects in terms of income sources, employment and multipliers.
Financing can be provided through various sources of finance, such as crowding, capital, capital, investment capital, credit, venture capital (venture capital), private and public funding. The best is a good mix of uncomplicated and different financing, especially if there is enough evidence of efficiency and feasibility. Similar and successful concepts, feasibility studies and market analyzes in the relevant areas can make financing much easier. Profitable, long-term or future-oriented business ideas and concepts are often financed quickly. Unique features and strong references promote successful funding for new start-ups, start-ups, projects or existing companies.
There are many other social and economic (sociocultural) aspects or topics on greening and desert exploration in opencast mining deserts. These are extensively analyzed and processed with the Greening Deserts research projects. Read more on the official pages and in the masterplan: “Concept and Study on Sustainable Greening Methods, Greenhouse Management, Forestry, Agriculture and Culture Industry for Surface Mining and Post-Mining Landscapes“.
The Greening Deserts greening projects and research camps also develop and conduct research in the climate and weather sector. Effective methods and measures for climate and disaster control are and will be researched and developed. Below are a few approaches and ideas listed.
A definition for flood protection according to DIN 4047:
“All the measures of watercourse development through water regulations and regulation, flood retention and / or structural alteration to the structures and facilities to be protected, which serve to reduce the flood area, lower the flood level and / or encourage flood discharge.”
A continuous discussion of the conflicts between the recreational and / or use forms and nature conservation is sought, also during the operation of projects and ventures in Post-Mining Landscapes. This serves the smooth running on all sides, the improvement of synergies and the avoidance of errors and duplicates or really unnecessary work. Ignorance should be avoided and communication promoted, especially in today’s times. This applies to all participants or agents in the region of the respective surface mining areas. The possibilities and potential of transparent working in mining landscapes are also important, as a result of which the overall image of the mining industry and the respective regions can be considerably improved. It also promotes awareness of nature conservation and positive change in the society.
It is also important to observe and comply with provisions, laws, regulations, guidelines and values for nature conservation in connection with or in relation to sustainable tourism, leisure and recreational use in mining landscape. Minimizing conflict potential and risks in this regard must be a task and in the interests of everyone, and extensive risk management for the region should be sought from all sources. Therefore, with this work and this concept is called to participate, to contribute ideas and suggestions. This can be done via the public pages or channels and by the official contact information.
Article published in October 2017.
On the pages of Greening Deserts and in the entire concept, cultural, social, economic and scientific aspects of professional greening and research projects for mining, surface mining and post-mining landscapes are described. Important and additional points are summarized here.
Further points and extensive information on the topics are extensively described in the master plan “Concept and Study on Sustainable Greening Methods, Greenhouse Management, Forestry, Agriculture and Culture Industry for Surface Mining and Post-Mining Landscapes“.
The Greening Deserts projects focus on sustainability and diversity, especially for greening and research camps in surface mining landscapes. The projects act lawful and forward-looking in the context of the experiences, possibilities and knowledge. Here are some important points.
In the case of extensive interventions in the landscape and nature (protective goods such as nature reserves), an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is prepared, although this is usually only necessary if a spatial planning or planning procedure is necessary. The assessment of environmental impact should be carried out not only voluntarily and for the site search, but also for all projects which could have a significant impact on the protection of the protected goods.
Coastal Greening or Desert Greening at coasts of lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. @GreeningCoasts