Friday, April 26, 2019

Trees Really Are as Close to a Panacea as it gets

Forests offer a wide range of benefits. It is hard to overestimate the power of trees to improve our world.  They are an important part of the solution to the climate crisis and they are one of the most powerful tools we have to combat air pollution.

The 3 trillion trees in the world today combat climate change by sequestering 400 gigatons or about a quarter of the carbon humans produce each year. A single tree can reduce particulate matter air pollution by 24 percent. They not only clean the air they also clean both water and soil. They protect fresh water and they enrich the earth.

Forests provide habitat for a wide range of biodiversity and they moderate our weather by stabilizing precipitation patterns, cooling the planet and mitigating against drought. They help us to manage disasters like storms and floods, they combat erosion and they reduce the likelihood of landslides.

Trees are a source of aesthetic beauty and recreational interest the world over. Forests and nature are known to provide a wealth of health advantages including both physical and mental benefits. They reduce stress, contribute to our sense of well being and elevate our mood. They not only make us happier they also make make us smarter.

Trees provide economic and employment benefits along with a wealth of ecosystem services like food, shelter, and oxygen.  According to FAO there are more than 1.5 billion people that are dependent on forests for their livelihood. Trees provide sustenance and allow people to earn their livings through things like fruits, nuts, timber and medicine. Trees are also linked to food security and farm productivity. 

The United Nations’ recognizes the importance of forests which is why they advocate tree management. The Paris Agreement recognizes that forests play an important role in meeting climate goals by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing carbon in trees and soils.

Much of the life on this planet depends on forests and reforestation offers an extraordinary ROI in terms of ecosystem services and carbon sequestration. Tree planting can also be incorporated into a cap-and-trade, or emissions trading scheme (ETS) program.

There is a multi-faceted wisdom behind efforts to restore forests and protect existing forests.

Related
Trees are Key to Combating the Climate Crisis
The World is Planting Trees and We are Seeing Results 
The Vital Role of Forests: Carbon, Rain and Food
Forests Combat Climate Change and Benefit the Economy (Infographic)
Time to Acknowledge the Vital Importance of Trees
Global Deforestation/Reforestation and Climate Change
Our Forests are Being Decimated but they can be Reborn
Video - Forests = Life
Video: Reducing Emissions Through Forest Preservation with REDD 

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