As governments scramble for corrective options to the worsening land degradation set to cost the global economy a whopping 23 trillion dollars within the next 30 years, a humble grass species, the bamboo, is emerging as the unlikely hero.
Trees are a vital component in the ecosystem—they not only give oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give refuge to wildlife, but also provide materials for tools, shelter and ultimately, food for both animals and human beings.
Forest communities play a fundamental role in Mexico in combating land degradation, but they need more support to that end.
Indigenous peoples, recognised as the best guardians of the world's forests, are losing some battles in Brazil in the face of intensified pressure from the expansion of agriculture, mining and electricity generation.
While Latin America keeps expanding its agricultural frontier by converting large areas of forest, one country, Costa Rica, has taken a different path and is now a role model for a peaceful coexistence between food production and sustainable forestry.
Alexander Muyekhi, a construction worker from Ebubayi village in the heart of Vihiga County in Western Kenya, and his school-going children can now enjoy a tiny solar kit supplied by the British-based Azuri Technologies to light their house and play their small FM radio.
The rural communities of San Miguel and Santo Tomás Ajusco, to the south of Mexico City, are preserving 3,000 of their 7,619 hectares of forest in exchange for payment for environmental services. But the inequality in the communities is far from ecological.
Olga Vargas, a breast cancer survivor, is back in the countryside, working in a forestry programme in the north of Costa Rica aimed at empowering women while at the same time mitigating the effects of climate change.
Mary Itumbi reports from Nairobi that Kenya is taking advantage of carbon trading to contribute towards efforts to address climate change.