he 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & Tree Planting
Of the 17 goals, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations as Agenda for Sustainable Development, many of them can be positively affected by effective and efficient means of tree planting; Planting trees can contribute dramatically to the economic activity and food production of an area.
Improving the natural environment contributes to food production (nuts, seeds, etc), stabilizes the soil to provide grazing for animals, helps to conserve water and maintain the water table, provides work and income opportunities, contributes to climate action and helps to restore the ecosystems. It is part of what is required to sustainably manage forests, combats desertification, and halt and reverses land degradation and halts biodiversity loss.
Let’s explore tree planting and its relationship to the Agenda for Sustainable Development from a unique perspective. The perspective is based on the use of what has become known as a “Rewilding Stick”. The Rewilding Stick is becoming increasingly established as an innovative and highly effective tool for planting of trees (and indeed a variety of plant species) which can be used in rough or unprepared ground. Its low-cost (they can usually be made by locals using local materials) and its impact of planting efficiency and effectiveness gives it broad appeal.
United Nations: 17 Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals build on the vital principle of “leaving no one behind”, and emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.
GOAL 1: No Poverty
End poverty in all its forms everywhere (eradicate extreme poverty currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.)
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
GOAL 4: Quality Education
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Reduce inequality within and among countries
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
GOAL 13: Climate Action
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
GOAL 15: Life on Land
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Of the 17 goals many of them can be positively affected by effective and efficient means of tree planting; Planting trees can contribute dramatically to the economic activity and food production of an area. Improving the natural environment contributes to food production (nuts, seeds, etc), stabilizes the soil to provide grazing for animals, helps to conserve water and maintain the water table, provides work and income opportunities, contributes to climate action and helps to restore the ecosystems. It is part of what is required to sustainably manage forests, combats desertification, and halt and reverses land degradation and halts biodiversity loss.
The issue is how to plant trees in an effective and efficient way, especially where there are not the resources to use hi tech, and expensive solutions such as planting using drones.
One innovative method very much worth looking at is the use of Rewilding Sticks. A Rewilding Stick can be made from a hollow metal pipe or – even better – a hollow metal walking stick. It enables a seed to be planted, in rough unprepared ground, every few seconds while walking at a leisurely pace. There is no bending or stooping involved so the planting rate can be can be maintained fairly easily.
Using Rewilding Sticks can also be an excellent way of building up the under-story, comprised of the various plants which can grow around forest trees, and in this way help restore the forest. Therefore the result becomes a genuine forest, which supports humans, animals and a wide variety of plants, and not just a plantation of trees which is being claimed to be a ‘forest’.
It is easy enough to carry different types of seeds and switch between them at intervals or even every time a seed is planted. Therefore even in a single planting session a Rewilding Stick can be used to plant multiple types of seeds.
Most organizations engaged in tree planting only evaluate themselves, and are evaluated by others, in terms of how many trees they have planted and the survival rates of those trees. Yet, we need to look at the bigger picture and allow for the fact that some of what gets planted may be better sacrificed to the needs of the local animal population. The restoration of the local animal population would allow for a better environment and will even contribute to the ‘planting’ process as they forage and burrow and spread and, more importantly, bury the seeds. Where things are already to out of balance, owing to human intervention, this may not be practical. However, it is always worth considering.
Perhaps we need to move away from the obsession of the numbers of trees planted and too look to the bigger picture of how many acres of genuine forest, or other local landscape, is being restored.
Planting trees can make a serious contribution to visually every one of the 17 SDGs. For more about the Rewilding Stick and how it can revolutionize tree planting, how to make them and how to use them, please check out the videos linked on this page.