Deforestation is the removal of trees from a particular landmass to make space for something aside forest. This can be clearing the land for agricultural, structural, or construction purposes in a bid to develop or expand a region. However, according to the World Wildlife, “Forests cover more than 30% of the Earth’s land surface. And African as a continent is surrounded by forests, rivers, and mountains although it has lost most of its forests to deforestation. Moreso, CNN reported that about 15 billion trees are cut down globally, and across Africa. And this deforestation rate has surpassed the global annual average of 0.8 percent. It is worthy to note that Forests in West and East Africa do not have conservating ethics that control deforestation. Hence almost every forest has suffered a complete decline between the 1900s and 2017. edition.cnn.com
There are various reasons why deforestation is still ongoing in Africa despite the effects of the present climatic changes in some African Countries. Some of the reasons for deforestation in Africa include;
- Cooking; many depend on the wood from fell trees for cooking
- Furniture; carpenters depend on woods gotten from fell trees
- Construction; woods gotten from fell trees are used for the construction of buildings and bridges.
African Startups Solving Deforestation.
Presently there is a group of young Africans who has taken it upon themselves to bridge the gap. In that, there is a gap between Africans living in the diaspora and those living on the continent. Their focus is to enable every African plant their roots literally in Africa through a social impact initiative. The group also aims at planting and designing more than 200 million trees across Africa by 2024.
This is a project that would help to curtail climatic change in Africa caused by deforestation. And it is interesting to note that My Roots in Africa Project allows people to have their names crested on a tree as gift items to themselves or loved ones.
How Startups Are Solving Deforestation Problems
To provide solutions, the team is connecting with local communities that have been impacted by pollution and deforestation. Although, the group tends to connect people with the use of technology as a tool for personalizing the service it offers. Therefore MIPAD is in partnership with Decagon Institute to deploy data science and artificial intelligence. With this, data science and artificial intelligence, the team can identify and geo-tag trees using blockchain technology.edition.cnn.com However, the initiative is aimed at promoting climate actions, which is one of the UN’s (United Nation) Sustainable Development Goals.
So basically, the team is using blockchain technology (that is a collection of data) to curb deforestation. This enables decentralized databases that allow system adoption in critical applications like money and identity. Moreso, since every tree planted can be named, it would create an emotional attachment/connection to Africa from those in the diaspora.
Government Involvement In Fighting Deforestation
Africa is our home of heritage and how responsibility to preserve; hence, African countries are on a project of planting trees. It is a long term project that would combat climate change, which is a major concern in most African countries. Moreso, as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative, the Government has joined in pledging and taking steps to restore 100 million hectares of land. For example, Ethiopia set a record by “planting 350 million trees in a day cnn.com.” While the Nigerian government has also announced that Nigeria will plant 25 million trees as part of the Great Green Wall
Related: How Agriculture Has Grown in Africa