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Niger

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  • ironbluesnake
    There was an article at NYTimes.com yesterday about trees in Niger. It reported that farmers started noticing scarcity of trees about 20 years ago and started
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 12, 2007
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      There was an article at NYTimes.com yesterday about trees in Niger.
      It reported that farmers started noticing scarcity of trees about 20
      years ago and started leaving saplings alone in their fields instead
      of uprooting them. They started "owning" the trees on their
      properties, protecting them, planting around them, etc. One of them
      is a nitrogen fixer that obligingly drops its leaves in the rainy
      season so it doesn't compete for water or light with crops!
      (The "government" had been claiming the trees as "government
      property" so no one had felt responsible for them. They were "in the
      way" so farmers would pull them out.) Now the government has changed
      policy and allowed the trees to be husbanded by the farmers, who can
      get far more benefit over time by selling fruits, seeds, coppicing,
      etc. than by cutting it down. Previous tree planting programs by the
      government had been expensive failures.
      Now satellite photos show extensive regreening of large areas of
      Niger. "Experts" are "surprised."
      It was very heartening to read this, I wanted to pass it on.
      I am reading Christopher Alexander's works now, the 4 volume series
      about the Nature of Order. He describes in great detail the way "The
      Wholeness" continually changes beautifully through "structure
      preserving changes" in Nature. Incredible insights and illustrations
      from arts and sciences. The Niger example was a good example of
      this, where all they had to do was stop pulling out trees, stop
      getting in the way of the activity of Wholeness.
      Brian Kennedy
      www.thefreedomofcraft.com
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