Our aims: To bring rain back to deserts, so the world can grow enough trees and crops to stabilise the climate and provide desperately-needed food, fuel, renewable materials and employment. Achieved by restoring forests on arid coastlines to move the thermal barrier, which currently prevents clouds and fog from moving onto land from the ocean, inland. The return ballast capacity of super tankers will be used to transport billions of tonnes of treated waste water, instead of sea water, for irrigation on return voyages.
Willie Smits restores a rainforest
Why you should listen to him:
Willie Smits works at the complicated intersection of humankind, the animal world and our green planet. In his early work as a forester in Indonesia, he came to a deep understanding of that triple relationship, as he watched the growing population of Sulawesi move into (or burn for fuel) forests that are home to the orangutan. These intelligent animals were being killed for food, traded as pets or simply failing to thrive as their forest home degraded.
Smits believes that to rebuild orangutan populations, we must first rebuild their forest habitat -- which means helping local people find options other than the short-term fix of harvesting forests to survive. His Masarang Foundation raises money and awareness to restore habitat forests around the world -- and to empower local people. In 2007, Masarang opened a palm-sugar factory that uses thermal energy to turn sugar palms (fast-growing trees that thrive in degraded soils) into sugar and even ethanol, returning cash and power to the community and, with luck, starting the cycle toward a better future for people, trees and orangs.
"This man has dedicated his life to saving the world, and for this he earns our deepest respect."
Jean Kern, Ode