in collaboration with
The UN GLOBAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE of Community Church
“THE MAN WHO STOPPED THE DESERT”
1080 Films, Written, Produced and Directed by MARK DODD, narrated by HUGH QUARSHIE,
(2010, 64 min)
WHEN: Sunday April 27th 2014 1pm
WHERE: Community Church NY Assembly Hall 40 East 35th St. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
SPECIAL GUEST: Dr. GEORGE GARLAND
Modest refreshments provided
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SCREENING IS IN THE CHURCH ASSEMBLY HALL AT 40 E. 35TH ST.
YACOUBA SAWADOGO, a peasant farmer from northern Burkina Faso in Africa, has succeeded where international agencies failed. Over the last twenty years he has become a pioneer in the fight against desertification and hunger. Yacouba’s struggle is pure, inspiring drama. It is about one man’s determined efforts that have the potential to benefit many thousands living in the Sahel region of Africa.
As early as the 1970’s, the Sahel became a bleak land as a result of severe drought combined with overgrazing, poor land management, and overpopulation. By the 1980’s the region, which once had a population of some 30 million, suffered from severe poverty and starvation. While many abandoned their traditional homelands, Yacouba decided to remain steadfast against the creeping desert.
The Man Who Stopped the Desert tells Yacouba’s story, partly though dramatic reconstruction. As a young man, he fought the accepted wisdom of the traditional land chiefs who opposed his farming techniques. But Yacouba remained undaunted. Through the combination of his vast reforestation project and the adaptation of an ancient agricultural “zai” planting technique, his name is now synonymous with reversing the process of desertification and combating food shortages. Yacouba’s work over a quarter century has resulted in the successful rehabilitation of farmland, the re-growth of forests, and the return of many to their homeland – as well as praise from international organizations eager to learn more about his techniques.
“Yacouba single-handedly has had more impact on…conservation than all the national and international researchers put together..In this region tens of thousands of hectares of land that were completely unproductive have been made productive again thanks to the techniques of Yacouba.”
Dr Chris Reij of Vrij University Amsterdam
Dr. GEORGE GARLAND is a Co Chair of the UN Global Affairs Committee of Community Church as well as the church Treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees. He had a 34 year career with the Environmental Protection Agency and is a former Executive Director of World Energy Forum. His work with the Public-Private Alliance Foundation has brought him in direct contact with Third World agricultural challenges through extensive field work in Haiti. His presentation is titled "Forests, Food, and Global Warming: A lesson from Haiti."