The degradation of the Ecosystem has been one of the biggest causes of climate change, and we have done little to stem the tide. Over 3.2B people are directly affected and figures released by the United Nations show it has cost the planet over 10% of its gross product. Several innovations around the world are helping to reverse the trend and The Cocoon is at the forefront.
The over-exploited ecosystem is a primary concern for environmentalists. And the natural revival of these degraded ecosystems could have a far-reaching impact by halting and gradually reversing the trend. This could ultimately have a far-reaching and positive impact on the planet and all its inhabitants.
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Nations at the UN Climate Summit in 2014 committed to foresting 150M hectares of land by 2020 and 350M hectares in another decade. There has been disappointing progress as per figures from the Food and Agricultural Organization. But organizations such as the Land Life Company of Holland are fighting to transform that with a pod that cocoons saplings, nourishes them, and helps them grow.
The Cocoon is the result of intensive research to improve the efficiency, scale, and transparency of efforts at reforestation with the help of inventive data, design, and technology.
The totally biodegradable incubators for trees can hold up to 25 liters of water that help to irrigate and protect the trees in its initial stages when it is most vulnerable. The Cocoon averts evaporation while preventing weeds from overwhelming the saplings during their early growth.
To stop the young tree from being destroyed by birds or animals, the cocoons have a protective safeguard that is also a protection from dry winds and direct sunlight.
The company plants trees that are native to the locations. They would have found it hard to survive the initial phase without human intervention after planting.
Between 6 and 12 months, the trees should be ready to sustain on their own and grow their roots deep enough to the sub-surface depths to draw moisture for their survival.
Read: Entire Ecosystems Can Collapse Within A Decade If Global Warming Goes Unchecked
Spreading The Cocoon Around The World
The Cocoon has been in wide use across continents from North America to Africa. United States, Mexico, Spain, Sudan, Cameroon have reported their successful use.
Sudan is running the project jointly with the UN Refugee Agency. In 2019, around a million trees were planted and several more in 2020. A nursery for the trees has also been set up where the cocoon will nurture around 200,000 seedlings every year.
On top of restoring the environment, this project is also aimed at employing refugees escaping from the conflict raging in Southern Sudan, and also the local population.
People were forced to trek for eight hours just to fetch wood. Now the growth of new forests with the help of cocoons will help them source the foods locally.
Imadeldin Ali of the UNHCR says that the plan was to establish small forests or woodlots surrounding all the 9 refugee camps in the state of the White Nile. This would supplant the trees that have been felled over the years by locals and refugees.
The cocoon developed by Land Life has is among the list of 50 Global Cleantech Watch Innovations. It recognizes the start-ups engaged in developing innovative products that are helping in halting climate change.
The impact of the projects can be enormous. The UN says the restoration of 350M hectares of degraded land before 2030 could lead to the generation of $9T in ecosystem services and also lead to the removal of 26 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the planet.