Terraformation’s trillion tree goal, plus meet climate champions, Mothers of the Forest. #TreesAreTheKey Awareness Week, and tree music from Diego Stocco.
Terraformation’s Trillion Tree Goal, Meet Mothers of the Forest, #TreesAreTheKey Awareness Week, Tree Musician Diego Stocco!
CLIMATE BIOTECH: TERRAFORMATION
A lot of you listeners of The Climate Daily know Yishan Wong as the founder of the Solarpunk Art Contest 2021. But did you know he’s also the founder of Terraformation, a climate change combatting company founded on the notion that Global native forest restoration is the lowest cost, lowest risk, and most politically feasible carbon drawdown solution available?
According to their website, “In 2017, faced with mounting evidence that global climate change was rapidly accelerating, Terraformation’s founder Yishan Wong began evaluating large-scale climate solutions.” He wanted to find a strategy that was practical, affordable, and offered the best possible chance to not just mitigate, but comprehensively solve, climate change. And he wanted it to be shovel-ready.
Wong discovered that native forest restoration outperforms any other known method of carbon capture by nearly an order of magnitude. Once he solved the commiserate problems of land, seed and water shortages, the restoration of up to 3 billion acres of degraded land suffering from desertification is possible. Terraformation was founded to create and share those solutions.
Why does this matter to us? As Wong says, “We don’t have a lot of time…and we have a very large problem to solve. We need simple, proven solutions.”
Terraformation works using five steps per project. Site Assessment & business planning; Seed collection, banking & nursery management; tree planting and hi-tech monitoring; sustainability strategies like agroforestry and carbon credits verification; and project upscaling tools.
Their motto: “We help plant native forests to reverse climate change.” You can’t get any more climate change combative than that, eh?
CLIMATE COMMUNITY: KENYA’S MOTHERS OF THE FOREST
Meet the Mothers of the Forest, forty women comprising this women’s empowerment group. They live throughout Boré, a deeply rural, heavily deforested area in Coast Province, Kenya. The group first came together four years ago, twice a month to share best practices for looking after the trees, to enjoy a nutritious meal together, and to share common humanity.
Since then, these largely uneducated women have created their own network of strength and support. They’ve learned how to make their own washable sanitary pads and converted a 1 acre plot of scrub land into an organic permaculture garden to provide a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Inspired by their actions, educator Michael Jefwa now conducts literacy classes with The Mothers two hours prior to each bi-monthly meeting. In 2018, documentary filmmaker, Tim Tyson Short made a film about the group, #TreesAreTheKey. It does an amazing job of explaining what they do to support the wonderful tree planting communities of Kenya and it is narrated by Kate Winslet.
The documentary is not available for online viewing, but it is possible to “rent” it out for screenings, as a way to donate to The Mothers of the Forest charity. It’s a compelling and inspirational short doc. We highly recommend it.
#TREESARETHEKEY AWARENESS WEEK
Somebody thought the Mothers of the Forest had a great idea, so they took it and turned into a whole week of tree celebration. Those somebody’s are the Word Forest Organization. The website doesn’t give an explanation as to why it’s called the Word Forest Organization. It only showcases what the group does.
And they do a lot. Including sponsoring the second annual “Trees are the Key” Awareness Week, March 21-27, 2022. Most of its work has been in reforesting and creating agroforestry projects in Kenya. There, community led tree planting programs go hand in hand with building classrooms, facilitating education and women’s empowerment.
For every classroom built, 4,000 trees are given to the community to plant. These are planted around the school compound or nearby, with parents, teachers and children all taking part in the tree planting process. This delivers multilayered understanding, as everyone is able to observe biodiversity flourish as they learn how to care for their adopted trees.
Their newly planted forests include mango, cashew, neem, casuarina and moringa, with the resulting commodities being used to give classroom students nutritious meals and shared with the parents and teachers.They also give everyone shade and protection from the weather, reduce damage from flooding, and provide safe habitats for wildlife like the Dik Dik, a tiny antelope which had all but disappeared from many Kenyan locales.
Now the group is turning to celebrate trees globally. During the inaugural Trees Are The Key Awareness Week, it intends to unlock the science and the secrets behind how local parks, woodlands and forests can lift our disposition, make us feel better, chill us out, keep us more focused and get our mind, body and spirit back on track.
Bookmark the March 21st to the 27th.
CLIMATE CULTURE: TREE MUSICIAN, DIEGO STOCCO
So, in celebration of all things tree, I did an internet search for tree music, and a guy named Diego Stocco popped up. 12 years ago, he posted a video of him making music from a live tree. He says, In the garden of my house there’s a tree with lots of randomly grown twigs. It looks odd and nice at the same time. One day I asked myself if I could create a piece of music with it.
Like any good musician, before playing his instrument, Diego had to tune the tree. To do so, he picked a fundamental note and tuned the twigs by trimming them with a pencil sharpener. He goes on to describe the technical aspects of recording his tree playing, and takes great pains to emphasize he used no sampling or synthesizing in the playing of the tree.
Stocco adds, “All the sounds come from playing the tree, by bowing the twigs, shaking the leaves, playing rhythms on the cortex and so on.” Check this out:
Almost a half million folks have enjoyed his live tree, musical interlude. He was recently asked how somebody else might do this in their own backyard. “First you have to find a tree with dry and long twigs (like the one you see in the video), if they’re still green and soft they won’t sound much. Then you have to make sure to have plenty of rosin on the bow. Finally, the angle, pressure and position of the bow on the twig makes a huge difference.”
Good advice. We reached out to Diego to find out exactly what kind of tree it was in his backyard that he played so well, but have not yet heard from him. He’s got more great music from Nature, too. Check him out at Diegostocco.bandcamp.com or for more detailed photos and descriptions, click on the link in the Deeper Dive Section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.