A 326-acre afforestation area, planted as a man-made forest on the prairies, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada was named after Richard St Barbe Baker, aka Man of the Trees. Celebrate this Jubilee celebration 50 years after he received his honorary doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan. The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas have commissioned a documentary about this remarkable man with historical footage, arguably the first global conservationist, and his legacy here in our city. It is based on interviews with several people who knew St Barbe Baker. The program, will also have greetings from conservationists from Australia, Switzerland, Scotland, Britain and the USA who were inspired by St Barbe and who became conservation leaders in their own right.
November 6 is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
Did you know this? “Forest cover in Vietnam declined by 50 percent between 1945 and 1980. During the Vietnam War, U.S. forces sprayed 72 million liters of herbicides, including Agent Orange, on the Vietnamese countryside and dropped roughly 13 million tons of bombs, according to Jakarta-based forestry expert Chris Lang. An Australia-based forestry expert, Tran Lam Dong, reports that defoliants destroyed about 7,700 square miles of forests — six percent of Vietnam’s total land area.”
And what about this, did you know about this? “During World War II, huge swaths of forested countryside were cut down to provide energy for Japan’s war efforts.”
Did you know that the “Damage Done To Europe’s Forests By The World Wars – With Many Effects Still Being Felt Today”
“The cities of Dresden and Hamburg saw their green spaces decimated by WWII.”
That is food for thought and now, did you know this?
“Richard St. Barbe Baker and Mahatma Gandhi shared a vision: turning the world’s deserts green by converting armies into forestry corps. The power of this dream, rooted in the sacredness for life that has long been recognized by tribal peoples, is working today through the remarkable Chipko, or tree-hugging movement of India, which employs civil disobedience to protect forests.”
There is more about Richard St. Barbe Baker, global conservationist and humanitarian. There is a film. It is not an ordinary film, it includes global conservationists who knew Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982) aka Baba Wya Miti Loving Father of Trees. A heritage documentary with spotlights on Richard St. Barbe Baker and these notable conservationists are part of a virtual film on Saturday, November 6, 1:00 pm SK time (CT)
Celebrate with us the extraordinary achievements of Richard St Barbe Baker, aka Man of the Trees, 50 years after he was bestowed his honorary Doctorate of Laws at the University of Saskatchewan by chancellor John G. Diefenbaker. Please join us to learn more about this remarkable champion of forests and trees, who inspired people around the world.
November 6 is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. What a day to remember!
In the last two years of World War I over half of the productive forests in Britain were lost to the war effort. They were needed for building up the trenches, building up barbed wire fencing, providing a wood sidewalk during years of constant rain.
There was not much difference between the clear-cut forests and the ensuing fire devastation of the lands of Britain, and the flattened landscapes of France in the theatre of war. Where did the forests go for places of spiritual, mental and psychological refuge? They were gone.
Trenches and aerodromes, forests fell and continued to fall during the First World War. “By the end of the First World War, it is estimated that 85,000 tonnes of round timber, 260 million board feet of lumber and over 200,000 tons of fuel and slabs were harvested by the Forestry Corps.”source
“During the month of October 1918 alone, over 53 million board feet was cut by the forestry troops.”source
“The same demand for wood arose during the Second World War”source
It was the destruction of the ecosystem, without a doubt.source
Now, what does the have to do with Richard St. Barbe Baker? Well Rudy Haase, an environmentalist forming the Friends of Nature, in 1960, joined the campaign to reforest Sahara desert. “In 8 years the Sahara could be a green homeland for millions of people if a force equal to standing armies of the world started work. A 50, 000 square mile subterranean lake makes St. Barbe Baker’s grand plan possible.”source
“Baker’s visions of a green peace where armies can be reorganized to undertake tasks such as turning deserts into forests have inspired millions.”source
So, this peaceful use of the armies of the world for desertification purposes was a vision of Richard St. Barbe Baker’s.
We are letting you know about a film and film launch program that includes global conservationists who knew Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982) aka Baba Wya Miti Loving Father of Trees, who are part of a virtual film on Saturday, November 6, 1:00 pm SK time (CT)
The film, The Legacy of Saskatoon’s Hidden Forest, highlights the 326-acre man-made forest on the prairies that was named after Richard St. Barbe Baker. Celebrate with us the extraordinary achievements of Richard St Barbe Baker, aka Man of the Trees, 50 years after he was bestowed his honorary Doctorate of Laws at the University of Saskatchewan by chancellor John G. Diefenbaker. Please join us to learn more about this remarkable champion of forests and trees, who inspired people around the world.
War, war, war and the environment. November 6 is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Environmental consciousness and ethics really began in the 1960s.
Consider the combat and the battlefields of World War I, the lack of water in Gallipoli, and the overabundance of water in flooding trenches in Mesopotamia.
Visualize the craters, and trenches, the flattened ecosystem. Consider the forests ravaged for the war effort, and how many timber reserves were decimated- either destroyed or consumed. Reducing remaining forests, now weakened, and a shell of their former vibrancy, now falling to disease, and pests. The soil devastated from artillery craters drastically altering surface hydrology.
The intense destruction of the environment with huge oil fires in the Persian Gulf War. The drowning and extinction of millions of hectares of cropland with the removal of dikes on the Huangh (Yellow River) in the Japan-China war (1937-1945)
Or the devastation impacting the eco-system with the bombers flattening Berlin, and Tokyo at the end of World War II. The animals, ecosystem, flora and fauna impacted by the craters which bombers afflicted Vietnam with.
Intense environmental destruction. The testing of nuclear weapons destroying the ocean, without regards for the environment, and then the subsequent use of such weapons on land and life on land.
Now visualize this.
Paul Hanley mentions that Richard St. Barbe Baker advocated for the use of armies. “In two books—Sahara Challenge and Sahara Conquest—he proposed that the world’s standing armies, 20 million strong, be redeployed as tree planters who would “attack” the desert in a military-style tree- planting campaign.” This tree planting initiative would indeed be a way for the countries of the world to come together on Saturday November 6 which is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
Wangaari Maathai knew Richard St. Barbe Baker. Professor Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize for the Green Belt Movement – actually planting trees in the Sahara Desert.
“We advocate that all standing armies everywhere be used for the work of essential reafforestation . .. in the countries to which they belong, and that each country . . . shall provide expeditionary forces to cooperate in the greater tasks of land reclamation in the Sahara and other deserts.” — Richard St. Barbe Baker, Green Glory:The Forests of the World, (1947)
When you think of the news these days- climate change, rising temperatures, massive flooding, the increasing reach of deserts what is the first thing that pops into your mind after Arrrggghhh!!!?
For Richard St. Barbe Baker, he saw massive flooding in Scotland. He travelled the Sahara desert, the largest in the world. He saw the effects which famine may have. He understood what clear-cutting forests would bring. The first thing which came to the mind of Richard St. Barbe Baker was how to rally the public for some tree planting, some stone mulching.
Richard St. Barbe Baker, a great motivator, inspired billions of people to plant trees through organizations he founded or assisted. What is very shocking, is that though the Sahara desert is a desert, and sand all the way, Richard St. Barbe Baker saw that the desert was once a forest, and he determined, that once again, the desert should be returned as forest. This project of desertification began while he was alive, and continues along to this very day. Other countries are taking part in their desertification processes also.
During this era of climate change nature based solutions, are indeed one way of taking action. A pioneer or pilot of many global projects could be found in Richard St. Barbe Baker’s ideas and through the International Tree Foundation, his work carries on.
Alongside this coming together of world conservationists will also be a curriculum natural science – heritage project tying together the film with inquiry based learning in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area named in St. Barbe’s honour. This place based learning set will enable classrooms, youth groups, families and homeschoolers to delve further.
International Online Premiere Saturday, November 6, 2021
1:00 CST (UTC-6), 12 noon PT, 3:00 pm ET
A 326-acre afforestation area, planted as a man-made forest on the prairies, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada was named after Richard St Barbe Baker, aka Man of the Trees. Celebrate this Jubilee celebration 50 years after he received his honorary doctorate at the University of Saskatchewan.
The Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas have commissioned a documentary about this remarkable man with historical footage, arguably the first global conservationist, and his legacy here in our city. It is based on interviews with several people who knew St Barbe Baker.
The program, will also have greetings from conservationists from Australia, Switzerland, Scotland, Britain and the USA who were inspired by St Barbe and who became conservation leaders in their own right.
The program begins with greetings from civic officials and concludes with a live panel. The total program will be about 1 hour.
As one of the most dynamic and motivated in our conservation industry, we’d be humbled if you would join us for this year’s 50th anniversary event. We’ll discuss emerging trends in nature based solutions to climate action, introduce you to global experts, help source potential inspiration, and more. The event takes place on November 6, 2021 virtually at 1:00pm, so please let us know if you’d like to attend at your earliest convenience by registering here.
Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest is almost here!
Announcing Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest a 50th anniversary celebration for 2021!
We’re so excited to share the good news with you:Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest will be debuting to Saskatoon virtually on Saturday November 6, 2021. Our fabulous lineup of speakers include Paul Hanley, Alan Watson-Featherstone, Vance Martin, Scott Poynton, Robert White and a few surprise guests you won’t want to miss! Join us as we mastermind the legacy of global Conservationist Richard St. Barbe Baker and the future of environmental protection and tree planting in 2021 and beyond.
Put your name on the eventbrite waitlist now to get in our exclusive early-bird group and be the first to get tickets!
We can’t wait to see you at this exciting event!
“We live less than five minutes without air and the trees give us air we breath. We live less than five days without water, and trees are absolutely essential in the water cycle”, says Richard St. Barbe Baker, “We live less than five weeks without food, and without the trees we could not grow food.”
Tony Rinaudo, Forest Maker, is one of the presenters who personally knew Richard St. Barbe Baker, and is speaking at the Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest.
Tony Rinaudo, from Australia happened upon one of St. Barbe’s Sahara books which influenced him. He is now referred to as the “Forest Maker” saving lives, and awarded the Order of Australia and the alternative Nobel Prize in Stockholm for farmer managed natural regeneration. He is an Australian agronomist discovering a way to grow forests without planting trees.
Tony Rinaudo, BSc AM. Agronomist, Senior Climate Advisor World Vision, Forest Maker, Famine Fighter. Rinaudo is an Australian agronomist who has pioneered and championed a simple method to grow trees in dry and degraded lands. He has empowered and inspired a farmer led movement across continents, regreening the lands, improving the livelihoods of millions and helping to combat biodiversity loss and climate change.
“The spirit of the man known as Richard St. Barbe Baker is the common force that has drawn us all together.” says Melissa J. Hadley, “It is not his knowledge of forestry, but rather a sharing in this vision of the greening of the earth that we celebrate here today. We admire St. Barbe the forester, for his foresight in the perception of a new forestry ethic.”1.
“He was very kind-hearted and often befriended rather hopeless types of people, with some sort of weakness that prevent their being able to earn their living. He would give them work to do in the office of the Man of the Trees, in order to build up their self-confidence. I never heard him speak ill of anyone; on the contrary the world seemed to be peopled with his personal friends.”2.
“Just imagine for a moment what it would be like if you really knew that everything you do counts – which, ironically, on a cosmic level, is probably true. If you knew that to be a fact, in a very concrete, immediate way, would you live your life differently? Just today, for example, how might you have related your children and loved ones if you knew that everything you say and do does affect them deeply and indelibly?”3.
Well, that has indeed happened in the case of Richard St. Barbe Baker. Time after time, the people who have met or encountered Richard St. Barbe Baker were affected emotionally, and profoundly. To this very day, they remember the moment when Richard St. Barbe Baker came into their lives.
So, it is always good to stop, take stock, and wonder, “What would Richard St. Barbe Baker say?”
And here is how to sum it all up in Richard St. Barbe Baker’s words on connections to the earth. “The fate of an individual or a nation will always be determined by the degree of his or its harmony with the forces and laws of nature and the universe. Man is not alone in the universe but is surrounded by sources of power, harmony and knowledge…Our individual evolution is a job that has to be carried out day by day by each individual himself. It is a life-long task.”
There are Friends of the Trees, who knew and encountered Richard St. Barbe Baker, around the world folks have come together on the same stage, they are ecologists and conservationists, authors and climate change consultants. What do they have to say about Richard St. Barbe Baker, and the encounter he had on their lives? Many people have heard of David Suzuki, David Attenborough, or Greta Thunberg. Richard St. Barbe Baker was the first global conservationist and humanitarian, and “he had the unmistakable quality of believing that his contributions counted”3. This is our way to remember his international legacy. International Online Premiere: The Legacy of Saskatoon’s Secret Forest Saturday November 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm CST (UTC-6)