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SOURCE International Fund for Agricultural Development
BONN, Germany, Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Drawing attention to the impact that climate change is having on rural communities in developing countries, British artist Silas Birtwistle unveiled his Biomimic Tree at the United Nations' Climate Summit (UNFCCC COP23) in Bonn, Germany.
Sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN agency that is helping smallholder farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change, the installation uses recycled plastic to depict a tree which only fully comes alive when water runs through it.
"At the bottom of the tree there is a pump which takes water through clear pipes to fruit and birds, which all gently move, turn, spin and chatter in response," said Silas Birtwistle. "Every five minutes, the pump will activate and the tree will come to life, water will trickle, the birds will sing and the leaves will flutter."
This sculpture highlights the dependence of all living things on a functioning healthy ecosystem. The tree provides food and a home to animals and birds. It also offers shelter from wind and shade from sun, allowing crops to thrive and feed families.
"The water running through the tree highlights the increasing importance of this critical resource due to climate change," said IFAD's Environment and Climate Division Director, Margarita Astralaga. "When the water is running the tree comes to life, when the water stops the tree comes to a stop, or dies."
She added, "Right now climate change issues such as water scarcity and erratic weather patterns are adversely affecting smallholder farmers in the developing world. But IFAD-led solutions are empowering them to combat and overcome these issues. "
"The sculpture highlights IFADs restoration efforts which focuses on planting trees on degraded lands to stop soil erosion," added Birtwistle.
In the Sahel region of Africa IFAD has rehabilitated almost 300,000 hectares. Once barren land now has approximately 50 trees per hectare. In total IFAD's agroforestry and related activities have contributed to the removal of over 58,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
IFAD's investments, including the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), help farmers in several ways, from installing weather forecast systems, to introducing new drought resistant crop varieties, as well as setting up farmer field schools where knowledge and new climate smart agriculture techniques can be demonstrated and disseminated.
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