It was a little longer than a year ago that I met Aldo online. In fact, I contacted him. The reason was that some guy wanted to cooperate with One World Tree Planting to initiate a restoration project focusing on the wetlands in Uganda. After some research I found out that this person pretended to be the Country Director of Global Peace Chain Uganda. A little review on the international website of Global Peace Chain that he was not, but Aldo was. That why I contacted Aldo to warn him that someone was trying to act like him.
As we chatted, Aldo told me about the Go Green Campaign and the awareness actions that he had set up in collaboration with Radio Pacis and other partners. In this new phase of the campaign Aldo and Programme Director Bob Bayou want to proceed with educating young farmers about agroforestry as a way to adapt to climate change and restore biodiversity.
One World Tree Planting was very inspired by the motivation and expertise of GPC team to set up projects that really helps smallholder farmers in ensuring their yields in a situation of longer droughts and freak weather events causing floods and damages to the fielding.
The climate crisis has been preceded by another crisis instigated by the so called Green Revolution, convincing farmers to leave old ways based on mixed cropping, rotation and seed diversity towards a highly intensive monocropping with high yielding crop varieties requiring tons on pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This exhausts soils and leaves fields unprotected to drought and floods.
By planting trees on the fields and training these farmers with the Forest Garden approach we hope that farmers will generate higher yields and income throughout the year while replenishing the soils by capturing water and moving forward towards greater biodiversity.
As a small association that believes in a peer-to-peer approach to support climate activists and their small climate adaptation projects, we’ve supported projects in Uganda and in India. We focus on the youth because they are the future and can inspire local communities and policy makers to build a sustainable future.
Given the situation of the West Nile region that is growing in population and hosts large refugee communities from neighbouring countries the abundance that agroforestry can generate is one of the best ways to keep and strengthen peace among communities.
That’s why I sincerely hope that Aldo will win the award of “Peace by Climate Action” handed out by the international Global Peace Chain network so that he and his team can spread the message by example and inspire young activists globally.
Our support could not have been possible without the Klimaatdichters (Climate Poets) from Belgium and the Netherlands who published a wonderful poetry book “Swimming Classes for Later” from which the revenues go to the Go Green Campaign.
I want to introduce Willemijn Kranendonk from the Klimaatdichters who will perform an English interpretation of a poem written by founder and climate poet Moya De Feyter:
I am a fish inside
the only fish in the world
that can’t swim
the moray opens and shuts its mouth
no one can hear it
the surface of the water is covered with motionless belugas
a sad octopus, partly buried
stared too long at the screen
come on, take a selfie with a shark!
we find the red perch charming
imagine being born in a fish bowl
because they have an inefficient swimming stroke
in an aquarium in a big city
every day thousands of people come to look at you
sometimes someone taps on the glass”
(Translated by Paul Vincent)