a discussion of things brown….
The Arab Powers have “Black Gold”; Pakistan now contributes with Green Gold.
This is a second article in BP that uses tall claims and weak statistics. Consider a 100 trees/acre planting density, one billion trees mean 50,000 km2; where is the water for evapotranspiration of this area going to come from?
This idea was considered and executed in India in the 70s; the eucalypts deep tap root system drew water from the deep ground, but did not grow like in Australia where the temperatures permit lower evaporation rates. Similarly Prosopis introduced to Tamilnadu overran agricultural lands. Similar aforestation plans in Kenya through Wangiri Mathai have been an abject failure.
These ideas come in waves; trees do not grow just because people planted a billion trees, but because they have a climate and water supply that is habitable. I do not even know what Green power means, because if a large forested area is power, then Brazil and Siberia will have all the power.
I am not questioning the need of a better forest cover in Pakistan. The question is the billion eucalypts.
Yes I know Israel used to plant euclayptus trees instead of olive trees, which impacted the natural cycle.
Eucalyptus (Pine and Teak) of all things. Fire hazards and will suck up all the groundwater.
In the 60’s the govt decided to plant Eucalyptus in the hill country. That the wet zone, with over 2,500 mm rain over the year. Even there a few weeks of dry spell and the it catches fire. The plantations look nice, no undergrowth like regular Sri Lankan forests.
In contrast in the Dry zone with only 2-3 months of rain, where indigenous plants prevail you hardly see a forest fire.
That said, for a place like Pakistan with little rain and cooler (year avg temp), Eucalyptus might be better than nothing.
Comments are closed.