Why Do Some People In Iran Spray Oil On The Desert?

In many parts of the world, man is losing his battle against the desert.

Iran is one place where he is winning. Iran’s desert is twice the size of the state of Vermont. Parts of it are being sprayed with oil. The oil dries to a gray crust that works like a mulch, protecting the seeds of trees and shrubs buried beneath it.

The mulch holds whatever water there is in the ground. It keeps the heat of the sun from killing the young seedlings. As a result of this oil, forests of tamarisk trees now grow where there were only sand dunes a few years before.

The trees not only provide much-needed wood but stop the blowing sands that each year turn more land into desert. Guards on motorcycles patrol these forests, chasing off goats and sheep.

The animals would soon eat all the leaves if left unchecked, and the trees would die. This method encourages Permaculture and Desert re-forestation which would support agriculture growth providing food for the local people.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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