Techniques to bring life back to arid regions in Africa has real potential for the semi arid regions of north east Brazil.
Tony Rinaido, a permaculture specialist working in Africa, had spent years battling to bring life back to dry landscapes when he observed the tenacity of ‘weeds’ to keep reappearing from the parched land. Tony realised that the ‘weed’s were trees, that had been cut down years even decades ago, trying to re-emerge. He discovered underground forests, tree root systems still very much alive under the baked earth. With careful management the root systems were allowed to bring life back to the desert and this process is helping to transform agriculture across many parts of Africa.
Observing and working with nature rather than against it is proving to be very beneficial to the local human populations. I have often thought that there must be a better way to work with the bush land in N.E Brazil than the slash and burn approach taken at present. Tony has inspired me to re-think and re-visit this approach.