Decolonize The Earth

Image: Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability

What is colonialism?

Colonialism means the domination of weaker countries, usually in the global South by richer, more powerful countries in the North. Most colonialism resembles what the British did in India and the Spanish in Mexico: the sustained looting of a colony’s minerals and other natural resources. But sometimes, like in America and Palestine, colonizers don’t just grab and run; they stay. This is called settler colonialism and usually involves the mass displacement or killing of the indigenous people and other life.

Strangers in a strange (to them) land

Even when they aren’t taking all a colony’s wealth, colonizers can make a mess out of conquered land by thinking they know more than the people who live there. When the French ran the West African colony of Niger, they encouraged farmers to remove trees from their fields so they could grow more food. But according to Smithsonian Magazine, in the climate of Niger, the absence of trees caused the land to dry out and grow less foods, while the people lost access to firewood, a main fuel source. The Sahara desert moved in. What worked in France didn’t work in Niger.

Decolonizing the land

If colonialism can be pushed back, people can rehabilitate land. In the 1980s, according to the Smithsonian article, farmers in Niger and neighboring Burkina Faso abandoned the colonizers’ advice to clear trees and started going back to traditional methods which grew trees and crops together. They supplemented their plan with other water harvesting techniques and learned how to re-grow trees from the stumps that remained on their land.

International volunteers at Tent of Nations farm
Image: PIBS

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David Spero RN

David Spero RN

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Alive in this place and time to help Make Earth Sacred Again. Write about Nature, economics, health, politics, and spirit from Earths point of view.