As someone who was born in Chennai and grew up reading about the huge battles between Tamilnadu and other Southern States over river water sharing for agriculture, the news of the Sahara Desert Reforestation Project on Treehugger suggests immense potential for Northern Tamilnadu, Southern Andhra Pradesh and possibly several other parts of India: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/09/sahara-forest-project.php
I wonder how the Indian and other South Asian authorities (I do not know about the exact situation in other parts of South Asia) could be made to look at this. India, at least, has a lot of money and it desperately needs to spend mroe to make the country a cleaner place and also preserve what little is left of its forests and safeguard its environment. There is money in this business, let me make it clear. And there is the possibility that the daily farmer suicides (60 a day according to some news sources) could end if this kind of project were undertaken.
Will this happen? I hope that it will. Am I optimistic? Well, I am a realist as far as India is concerned, which means that I am a pessimist.