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Coastal forests are in need of our help!
Traditional Reforestation Vs Arial Reforestation, why don't you decide?
The Coastal Forests of East Africa is a sequence of ancient forest and thicket patches set within savannah woodlands, wetlands and agricultural land. The forests occur from Southern Somalia to Southern Mozambique and west to Malawi.
As each developing country in Africa races to modernise itself, the forests simply cannot keep up with the world’s unsustainable demands. Historically, humans have always relied on wood as a natural resource, either as a form of energy or as material to construct objects and it is no different today, except the demands are that much greater as a result of an ever increasing population. This is believed to have contributed to the deterioration of forests which has widely become an important topic in most counties today. For example, the original 291 250 km2 of the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa, has been drastically reduced to 29 125 km2 of natural (indigenous) vegetation.
Reforestation refers to the process in which forests regenerate (renew) themselves after they have been harvested (gathered). The renewal process is either done by natural regeneration, planting new trees or by a combination of both practices.
Aerial reforestation is a relatively new practice and is still in the process of being fine tuned yet remarkably achieves a 70% success ratio. While the traditional technique obtains a higher 95% success ratio, it is limited to the amount of plants one can plant in a day and ones range is additionally restricted.
Aerial reforestation or more commonly known as seed bombing and is based on the same value yet involves a different technique. It is aimed at introducing vegetation to land often in areas that are inaccessible or after a fire has occurred. The technique involves throwing or dropping (often from aeroplanes) compressed bundles of soil which contain live vegetation into the designated area.
The burning question that needs answering is which method or technique is best suited for East Africa? With only 17% of the Coastal Forests of East Africa formally protected one cannot help but think that something urgent needs to be done sooner rather than later.