Making the deserts green

Publish date: June 4, 2009

SARPSBORG, Norway - The Bellona Foundation will be one of four partners in the auspicious Sahara Forest Project to fight climate change, water scarcity and produce more biomass for clean energy.

The Sahara Forest Project will now develop an Industrial Ecology Centre. The aim is providing a platform for international cooperation on innovation and development, and paving the way for large-scale roll-out.

“Together we will bring the Sahara Forest Project towards its full potential,” said Frederic Hauge, president and founder of The Bellona Foundation.

The Sahara Forest Project is a vision of how the Seawater Greenhouse, concentrated solar power and cultivation of new promising crops can be integrated on a large scale to re-vegetate arid areas and create substantial amounts of freshwater electricity and biomass.

The Sahara Forest Project has been described in the pages of Time and The Guardian as on of the most promising future oriented technologies in the fight against climate change.

Preparing a test centre
The next measure for the Sahara Forest Project is to establish a test centre for the technology. Hopefully a test centre will be ready by the UN climate negotiations in December.

“We want to see solutions to the climate crisis and the Sahara Forest Project can be one of them,” said Haugue

Bellona biomass expertise
Bellona is contributing to the project with competence on environmental technology, and its work on algae, as one option to biomass.

“Growth of algae and other exciting new crops is necessary to provide the world with the need of enough sustainable produced biomass,” Hauge said.

“The growth of algae in combination with the techniques in The Sahara Forest Project provides exciting new possibilities,” said Michael Pawlyn, founder of Exploration Architecture, one of the architects behind the Eden Project.

The partners
The partners behind the Sahara Forest Project have until now consisted of Charlie Paton, founder of The Seawater Greenhouse, Michael Pawlyn, founder of Exploration Architecture, and Bill Watts, Senior Partner in Max Fordham Consulting Engineers.

The Bellona Foundation has now joined the Sahara Forest Project as a fourth partner.

“Our planet has too much carbon, too little fresh water and a need for more energy. This is why The Bellona Foundation is joining the unique and promising project,” Hauge said.

 The new alliance was presented at the CC9 International Climate Conference, arranged by The Bellona Foundation, the energy company Hafslund, and the organization of former heads of state, Club of Madrid.

Download the PDF file to the right for more information on The Sahara Forest Project.

Bellona contact information:
Tone Foss Aspevoll: +47 91 72 02 67

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