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Society

Trees against climate change

According to the WWF, somewhere in the world, an area the size of 35 football fields is cleared of trees every minute. But in Mexico a counter trend is in the making.

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Project goal: Convincing farmers in Chiapas to use sustainable farming practices
Project type: Reforesting pastures
Project size: More than 1,000 farmers already taking part, and sustainable farming introduced on more than 20,000 hectares. 10,000 hectares have been reforested or re-cultivated
Project volume: nearly 1.5 million euros ($1.95 million) as part of the International Climate Initiative

Climate change has hit the Mexican state of Chiapas hard: drought periods are longer and wet seasons shorter. And when the rains do come, they are so heavy that they unleash deadly landslides that bury entire villages. It is up to local people to protect themselves, which is why the environmental organization, The Nature Conservancy, is educating farmers not to clear trees to create pasture for their cattle, but to plant trees instead. Trees stabilize the ground and provide shade for the animals. Their fruit provide another source of food for the cows, which in turn increases milk yield. Adapting to climate change here, not only helps to protect local people from environmental disaster, but also gives them the chance to boost their income.

A film by Katja Losch

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