|Cultural Sustainability Sustainable Living Environments of Learning Health & HealingPeace|
Planting Trees for Peace
The Sound Essence Project is embarking on a new project to help manage the fragile ecosystem of Mongolia. It is our hope that our tree-planting project will assist in combating drought and desertification in Mongolia, while increasing biodiversity. By planting native tree species, like pine and larch, we hope to prevent further land degradation and deforestation. This can occur due to forest fires, overgrazing, and inappropriate agricultural practices, but also from the frequent removal of a stand of trees for firewood.
The trees of Mongolia have a great importance far beyond their commercial value. By acting as a barrier from desert winds, the trees help stabilize agricultural lands and protect the watersheds that lead to the world’s largest freshwater reservoir, Lake Baikal in Russia. The majority of the forest vegetation exists along the northern part of the Russian border, in mountainous areas that are difficult or impossible to access. In 1996, these forests were ravaged by fire, destroying 2.3 million hectares of forest and 7.8 million hectares of grassland.
As of 1990, the United Nations stated that 90% of Mongolian lands were vulnerable to desertification. This fragile and crucial ecosystem is in need of continued reforestation. Dust storms in Mongolia send particles all the way across the Pacific Ocean. It is our hope that by putting a tree-planting project into effect we will be able to create a bond of peace, as well as support and strengthen the ecosystem of Mongolia.
As of September 2006, with the help of Father Gaby Bamana in Erdenet, we have begun our tree planting project in Mongolia. Father Gaby (pictured below) has been intrumental in assisting the Sound Essence Project with the tree planting. He heads an orphanage in Erdenet with a well on site, and the children will be helping to manage and care for the growth of the newly planted trees, to ensure their survival during the first few critical years. We are excited to have their involvement with Planting Trees for Peace!