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.
Whatever trees were not chopped down for the war effort, were brought down for lighting and heating houses domestically in Britain.
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.
For more information or to register:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-legacy-of-saskatoons-secret-forest-tickets-184304960097 (Free, Pre-registration will aid us in planning)
For international guests check meeting time here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
If you have not invited others to the event please feel free to do so by forwarding the information below and attached.