Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

Operation Hope Revegetates Zimbabwe

6/14/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: land management, Africa, Zimbabwe, grasslands

The winner of this year’s Buckminster Fuller Challenge—an annual competition to recognize initiatives that could solve the world’s biggest challenges—is a great example of how the earth heals itself, if it’s allowed to do so.

Operation Hope team
Operation Hope is working to replenish degraded Zimbabwe grasslands. Photo Courtesy Buckminster Fuller Institute 

Operation Hope, a joint project by the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe and the Savory Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, transforms parched and degraded Zimbabwe grasslands back into lush pastures with ample water, even during drought. The holistic land-management strategy fights desertification by dramatically increasing the number of herd animals on the land. The animals follow the traditional nomadic patterns that kept the grasslands lush when herds roamed freely, fertilizing the grasses with their waste and compacting the soil with their trampling, encouraging plant growth.

Operation Hope desert
This land has been bare and eroding for more than 30 years. Photo Courtesy Buckminster Fuller Institute. 

Operation Hope desert after
This lush land is the results of animals following the traditional nomadic patterns that kept the grasslands lush when herds roamed freely, fertilizing the grasses with their waste and compacting the soil with their trampling, encouraging plant growth. Photo Courtesy Buckminster Fuller Institute. 

Operation Hope received $100,000 from the Buckminster Fuller Institute to further develop its work, which is being practiced on more than 30 million acres worldwide.

Other finalists included an Indian organization that teaches women in remote towns how to install solar lighting systems; a closed-system greenhouse for efficient farming in water-scarce communities in Germany; a Chicago group that captures, cleans and returns wastewater and stormwater to the Great Lakes; the Living Building Challenge; and a Brooklyn-based organization that connects farmers and consumers as co-producers using urban backyards.

Related Content

The Infamous CAFO: Semantics Schmemantics!

The EPA is now defining a CAFO (formerly confined animal feeding operation) as a Country Animal Feed...

New Breakthrough Could Double Electricity from Solar Cells

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a way to double electricity from solar cells by ...

Idealistically, Unrealistically

We could feed every hungry person tomorrow but we haven’t collectively decided to do so. In my beaut...

Should Genetically Modified Foods be Labeled?

In a recent survey, we asked our online readers if they thought genetically modified foods should be...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.