Thanks for this moving story from Eastern Kenya. Form Uganda, I sometimes wonder if anyone who minds is reading this stuff. There are numerous issues that this story raises (similar situation increasingly prevails in many parts of East Africa): - National level: Climate variability in this region is real (no / poor rains leading to food insecurity and affecting livelihoods). But no tangible / minimal attempts to address this are available to this community. Instead they have to survive by mowing down the remaining trees! - Local: No information no sustainable options in sight to cope with this set of challenges. Charcoal production remains the only way to make a living of one is to remain in this area. Unfortunately, the end users of this charcoal do not know its life-cycle and hence being able to act. For me this is where the discussion on 'green economy' would start, if it is to be relevant to the South. The story points out weak points that a 'green economy' should address: - Sustainable small scale agriculture (rainfall dependent) - How to sustain food productivity and security without putting pressure on the already fragile ecosystems and soils? - Rural energy: Getting the end users (urban areas and commercial institutions) to switch to alternative renewable energy options - based on policy triggers, international cooperation and technology transfer? - Water supply: How to secure supply of clean and safe water to all at all seasons without antagonizing fragile ecosystems during the dry and extended spells?