- Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -

Future Forest Plants Trees in the Mongolian Desert to Reduce Korean Dust Storms

Posted By Charley Cameron On March 12, 2012 @ 7:08 pm In Air quality,Environment,environmental destruction,global warming,News | No Comments

dust storms, desert trees, desert drought, mongolian drought, korea dust storm, seoul dust storm, asian climate, dust storm, desert plant [1]

As severe desertification [2] hits the Gobi Desert and temperatures there rise at a rate twice the global average [3], it is not only the largely nomadic desert population who suffer — the desertification is also causing an increase in vicious dust storms as far away as Seoul, South Korea. To fight the problem, South Korean activist and former ambassador to China Kwon Byong Hyon founded Future Forest [4], an organization devoted to planting trees throughout the Mongolian and Chinese Desert [5]s in an effort to slow desertification and reduce the widespread negative health impacts the dust storms cause throughout the region.

dust storms, desert trees, desert drought, mongolian drought, korea dust storm, seoul dust storm, asian climate, dust storm, desert plant [6]

Image via Wikimedia Commons [7]

Perhaps one of the lesser discussed environmental threats, desertification is defined [8] by the UN as “land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.” Listing desertification as one of the “greatest challenges [9] to sustainable development,” and a contributing factor to loss of biodiversity and global warming, the UN formed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification [10] in 1994, and named Kwon their first “Sustainable Land Management Champion.”

As desertification reduces farm and grazing land in the desert, it causes increasingly furious sandstorms to whip up and carry over into China and Korea. When these “Yellow Dragons” come, described The World [11] “the noxious dust exacerbates asthma [12] and sends people with heart problems to the hospital. It seeps into machinery, forcing factories to shut and grounding airplanes.”

Prior to tackling the Gobi Desert, Kwon and Future Forest undertook to plant a “Great Green Wall” in China’s Kubuqi Desert [13], which included over four million trees, shrubs and grasses aimed at slowing the desert’s expansion. While the trees help to prevent erosion, preserve water sources and dampen dust storms, they can also have wider positive effects on the local community. The UNCCD described to the Guardian [14] how a similar project in Africa could also “provide energy resources; fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs [and] support local economic development.”

+ Future Forest (Korean) [15]

Via TreeHugger [16]

Lead Image © flickr user Mark Fischer [17]

Article printed from Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com

URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/future-forest-plants-trees-in-the-mongolian-desert-to-reduce-korean-dust-storms/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/future-forest-plants-trees-in-the-mongolian-desert-to-reduce-korean-dust-storms/planting-trees-in-mongolian-desert-may-reduce-dust-storms-over-korea-1/

[2] desertification: http://inhabitat.com/seedbomb-plant-capsules-combat-desertification/

[3] twice the global average: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/planting-trees-mongolian-desert-fight-dangerous-dust-storms-seoul.html

[4] Future Forest: http://www.futureforest.org/

[5] Desert: http://inhabitat.com/simulation-shows-towing-an-entire-iceberg-to-drought-stricken-areas-is-feasible/

[6] Image: http://inhabitat.com/future-forest-plants-trees-in-the-mongolian-desert-to-reduce-korean-dust-storms/planting-trees-in-mongolian-desert-may-reduce-dust-storms-over-korea-2/

[7] Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dust_over_China_2010-03-12_lrg.jpg

[8] defined: http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/sustdev/desert.htm

[9] greatest challenges: http://www.unccd.int/en/about-the-convention/Pages/About-the-Convention.aspx

[10] Combat Desertification: http://www.unccd.int/en/Pages/default.aspx

[11] The World: http://www.theworld.org/2012/03/dust-storms-korea-mongolia/

[12] asthma: http://inhabitat.com/how-to-fight-indoor-air-pollution-with-plants/

[13] Kubuqi Desert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQqSccEwc4M

[14] the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/feb/25/great-green-wall-sahel-desertification

[15] + Future Forest (Korean): http://www.futureforest.org/#

[16] TreeHugger: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/planting-trees-mongolian-desert-fight-dangerous-dust-storms-seoul.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

[17] Mark Fischer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom_ruaat/

Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.