Introduction to Operation OASIS

The massive waste water problem that currently pollutes our bathing waters costing £billions to process throughout the world can be used to irrigate and reforest desert coastlines to induce rainfall.

Our aim is to use the return ballast capacity of super crude carriers which currently transport sea water half way around the world at great financial and environmental cost. This ballast is discharged into the sea, often introducing invasive marine species which affects the stability of indigenous species of flora and fauna.

The E.U. is legislating against this practice and tanker operators will be forced to seek an alternative.

Operation OASIS offers an exciting opportunity for ballast water. Transporting treated waste water to irrigate and reforest arid coastlines to induce rainfall has to be the way forward.

One tanker loaded with 300000 cubic meters of treated waste water would support 57 hectares of forest for a whole year.

Reclaiming deserts to enable people to feed themselves and grow great forests will offset the carbon emissions from shipping.

With global food shortages upon us we are already feeling the strain on our pockets in the developed world and renewable resources are in rapid decline. Drought is affecting all major food producing countries and wells are running dry. Water scarcity poses major problems for us and our children. We need to act fast in order to avert a major global catastrophe.

When the mighty river Amazon dries up and it's fish stocks die it is time to take stock on how we manage our fragile environment. For more detailed information visit our website and forum at:

Sunday, 9 September 2007

United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office 13/6/94

United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office 13/6/94
Thank you very much for your letter of April 7, 1994
It is encouraging that creative people like yourself are engaged in trying to solve the major environmental problems of our time.
Your proposal is certainly imaginative and has it's merit. However it raises several questions and concerns we want to share with you.
* The Major objective of the proposal is to reclaim deserts and settle populations on the reclaimed areas. While this objective has it's merit in long term when the productive lands have reached their limits in terms of carrying capacity, the short and medium term priority for the countries with arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid lands, particularly in Africa, is to prevent desertification (land degradation). This constitutes the major challenge of the International Convention on Desertification which is being negotiated now in the last session of the International Negotiating Committee on Desertification, in Paris.
* Although very attractive, the proposal poses the question of it' cost-effectiveness and it's replicability.
* There are also cultural issues/sensitivities involved in the transfer of sludge from the industrialised countries to the developing countries.
* From a technical point of view, sludge could certainly be used to build nutrients into the soil. Given the desert conditions, the main issue remains however, the permanent irrigation of planted crops or trees. Can we rely on the water from the sludge? If we are to use deep ground water, often available in deserts the cost of irrigation is so high that it's exploitation is not economically feasible.
* A better alternative might be to transform the sludge into dry fertiliser to be transported to Africa and put to the disposal of farmers at a reasonable cost. "The main problem in the desert is an inherent lack of water. Removing the water makes little sense?"
As you might know, we at UNDP particularly through UNSO, are dealing with desertification in terms of sustainable management of natural resources in the dry lands. We are not considering yet action to reclaim deserts.
I hope that the above reflections will be useful in your on-going efforts to look for viable alternatives for desert reclamation.
Maxine Olson Acting Deputy Director Officer in Charge

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