A whisper from the woods

Ask me (almost) anything, June 2022

Jun 20, 2022

World Day of Drought and Desertification was June 17 (you can check our posts on Facebook or Instagram).

To understand more about this topic, we have asked our consultant, Mark Allaway,  the following question:

“On an individual level, how can we combat desertification and drought?”

Mark shared with us that this is not a simple topic to tackle. To better address this issue, we are going to share a two-part article about it.

Today, Mark tells us about shifting our perception of drought and desertification.

“Healthy and productive soil is the key to a prosperous and fulfilling life in all countries. As we seek to avoid a dangerous climate future, we must avoid creating unproductive, arid landscapes where the soil cannot be protected and used sustainably.

Deserts are no fun!

Looking after our precious resources of soil and water is a key goal for our Global Tree Initiative (GTI) community. Being good, wise managers of our precious resources is part of the GTI story.”

Mark presented us with some numbers to illustrate what he has just explained:

“We mostly rely on the land for our well-being. Land, however, is only 30% of the planet.

The area of land suitable for growing food and crops is only about 10% of that global land area*.

Here in Australia, the continent is already 70% arid.  It cannot support productive trees or food crops.  That means the remaining 30% is vital for our national well-being. Of that 30%, only 4% of this area is considered capable of being used for cropping.Look at it this way, if I started with 100 oranges in my Australian basket, 70 would be shriveled up in the desert. Of the remaining 30 oranges, 29 would taste sour. Only one orange would be sweet and delicious.”

What Mark is telling us is that before we start our task of managing and improving our landscapes, we must change our understanding of the problem.

“Looking after the soil to grow that orange is the key to a healthy life. Healthy soil with vigorous microbes, adequate nutrients, and clean water used correctly is the answer.

Then, there are more oranges for everyone to share!”

Thank you so much for teaching us, Mark! It is important to learn what influences the healthy growth of our trees and crops.This way we can maximize our positive impact on the world.

Do let us know if you live in an arid or semi-arid area like Mark in Australia. Perhaps you have tips and tricks that you can share with the community, too. We would love to hear from you!



Please share this. Thank you!


  1. Anrich

    Mark, what a nice article and analogy with the oranges!

  2. Kika

    This shift in perspective is really important. Thank you for bringing this up! We won’t be able to address today’s problems if we look at them with yesterday’s eyes. Thank you!!


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