Since carbon emissions and the resource greed epidemic caused the downfall of nature, many have scrambled for a quick solution. While Peru is keeping its unscathed plantations guarded, China is restoring millions of woodland hectares. Not too far behind is the City of Love, aiming to reforest 5.2 square miles of land. The anticipated lush of trees will be 5 times larger than Central Park.
For around a century, Pierrelaye-Bessancourt has been a literal wasteland. From 1896 to the 1990s, the city of Paris sprayed sewage residue across 865 acres of the fields to fertilize them.
The unofficial landfill will take 30 to 50 years to mature into a succulent plantation. In the meantime, it’ll host a swell of hiking trails, equestrian center, and conservation areas. However, the ambitious plan will inevitably face some setbacks.
As many as 1,500 trailers are squatting on the land, and getting full approval will require a lengthy series of community meetings.
Still, a great portion of the planet has seen urban transformations over the centuries. I’m sure some parts won’t mind kicking it old school.
As we all know, the joys of tree-planting exist beyond activist groups. Anyone can join in on the fun — from entire villages to drones. Even your not-so-usual suspects can be pretty eager to give back. Such is the case with 60,000 Chinese troops, all of whom are reforesting 84,000 square kilometers of land.
The armed police force has a specially designated forestry branch to patrol and exercise jurisdiction in forested areas such as the northeastern Greater Khingan mountain range – dubbed ‘China’s green lungs’ – in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia provinces.
China’s current forest coverage lies at a measly 21%, which the People’s Liberation Army hopes to bump up to 23 by 2020. In this year alone, the Chinese government aims to overlay an ambitious 6.66 million hectares of land.
Heavily polluted Hebei province, which encircles Beijing, has pledged to raise its total forest coverage to 35% by the end of 2020, and the bulk of the troops pulled back from the frontlines will be dispatched there.
China is notorious for its dense amounts of smog and futile efforts to combat them with jars of air. Perhaps this route, along with other air purification methods, may be the best one to take.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone — and nature couldn’t agree more. Realizing the value of its waters, Mexico recently built the world’s largest marine reserve yet, spanning 57,000 square miles. Echoing its environmental efforts is Chile, transforming 10 million acres of land into five national parks.
The government signed a deal with Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who worked with late husband Doug for decades to protect areas of Patagonia.
Tompkins Conservation, the not-for-profit organisation set up by the couple, said the area being protected was roughly the size of Switzerland.
Doug Tompkins, who founded iconic outdoor brand North Face, died in a tragic kayaking accident in 2015. Accused of land-grabbing, Tompkins’ was set purely on ecological preservation.
“I am proud of my husband Doug and his vision which continues to guide us, in addition to our entire team, for completing these two national parks and the broader network, a major milestone of our first 25 years of work,” [Mrs. Tompkins] said.
Being part of society’s 1% may be tricky — but power doesn’t always equate greed.
Solar power exists everywhere — in highways and even infrastructure. It can withstand extreme conditions, or at least as far as we know. Now, two Chinese companies are testing that theory, setting out to build a solar farm on the remains of Chernobyl.
“It is cheap land, and abundant sunlight constitutes a solid foundation for the project,” says Ostap Semerak, Ukraine’s minister of environment and natural resources.
After years of battling radiation, Chernobyl has apparently become a breeding ground for new possibilities. Golden Concord Holdings and Sinomach will be spearheading the formidable project, which will cover 2,500 hectares.
“There will be remarkable social benefits and economical ones as we try to renovate the once-damaged area with green and renewable energy,” says Shu Hua, chairman of the GLC subsidiary.
As it welcomes hundreds of tourists a year, Chernobyl’s progress is slow but steady. Home to dozens of animal species, the once-toxic ghost town is finally making its comeback.
Thanks to over-harvesting, over-fishing, and overdoing pretty much everything, alternative food sources are all the rage. In the near future, the dory in your fish taco could be lab-grown. Your oatmeal may even be 100% renewable. And, if Chinese scientists prove it a success, rice will flourish in saltwater and create enough food for 200 million people.
The rice was grown in a field near the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong province. 200 different types of the grain were planted to investigate which would grow best in salty conditions.
Per hectare, scientists predicted an output of 4.5 tons. Much to their surprise, and because nature is cooler than we think, the yield hit 9.3 tons. With 1 million square kilometers of previously unused high-saline land now on the market, rice production could rise by 20%.
“If a farmer tries to grow some types of saline-tolerant rice now, they most likely will get 1,500 kilograms per hectare. That is just not profitable and not even worth the effort.” [says team leader Yuan Longping.]
A kilogram of the stuff goes for around $8, a whopping eight times more costly than regular rice. Still, some six tons have already made their way into kitchens. Beyond everything, the price is rice!