Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Inchon Hope Forest" in Mongolia

Many of the citizens of Inchon have for a number of years planted trees in  Mongolia. Other cities, and certain industries, from 2008 to 2010, have also helped. It is part of the "Green Start Movement," profiled in our Inchon Catholic bulletin. The goal of the movement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the non-industrial sector of the country, along with supporting the tree planting efforts of our citizens in Mongolia.

The writer of the article mentioned going to Mongolia to see the "Inchon Hope Forest," where the citizens of Inchon have planted their trees. It is hoped that this newly planted forest will help to stop the desertification of the country by setting up a windbreak, reducing the winds that now carry the yellow sand to other parts of the Far East.

Because of the climate change in Mongolia, over 90 percent of the country is turning into a desert. Most of the rivers and  lakes are drying up, and this past winter, because of the severe cold, more than 80,000 animals died. And in Korea, because of industrialization and the movement of people to the cities, the effects of climate change are also being experienced, though differently than in Mongolia. Here the trees and land for farming in the cities have disappeared. We continue to use fossil fuels, and our eating  depends on what we import.  If we know the dangers that inevitably come with climate change, says the writer, then we should see the preciousness  of our earth and the dangers of turning over production of our food to others.

To begin addressing one of the problems of climate change, a new practice is taking hold in our cities--city farming: farming in boxes, farming on verandas, farming on roof tops, farming on the outskirts of the city. We are seeing the beginnings of a cultural movement that encourages consumers to grow and enjoy  some of the food they eat. This movement indicates a new and deeper appreciation of life, and of the steps needed to change our way of living.

The plight of the Mongolians are making us think a little more critically of our consumer society and our comfortable lifestyle.  The pain and dust storms being experienced by the people of Mongolia are sending us a message we are now beginning to take to heart.


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