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Trees are the Answer!

16 May 2019 at 12:00AM

 

"Trees are the Answer!"

I have always believed that trees are wonderful. Strong, whispering, ancient...almost eternal. It’s what called me to this work. Trees are good. 

Planting them, caring for them, protecting them, appreciating them…trees are terrific! Planting with RR ©Silvia_Di_Domenicantonio

Some of our most profound experiences of connection come through Nature. For many of us, trees hold a special place in our lives and in our hearts, providing shade as well as profound context for contemplation of our place in the world. Trees are good for the soul.

They are also good for the body. They promote rain that brings life, provide the lattice that habitats are built upon the world over, and for those of us who enjoy breathing, they provide oxygen for our continued existence. Trees are the necessary—perhaps the most necessary—ingredient for a stable, global terrestrial ecosystem and they make this a wonderful planet to call home.

Now it’s clear that trees are even more than that: planting and protecting trees and forests is one of the best strategies available for combating climate change.

After centuries of deforestation in the name of progress - or a million-dollar view - the opportunity presented by planting trees and nurturing forests is coming to the fore. It must. We're running out of options as the climate changes ever more rapidly, threatening life as we know it on Planet Earth.

And we know that our changing climate is leading to ecological instability, the impacts are increasing more rapidly and at greater scale than predicted and the political responses aren’t matching pace with needs. Not only are we failing to meet the basic needs of the Paris Climate Accord – for those countries that agreed to it, but a recent UN study, the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, asserts that 1 million species are at imminent risk of extinction directly related to climate change. We are most definitely in trouble.

How do we fix this?

I believe trees are the answer. 20190504-Rainforest_Rescue_Tree_Planting_Image©Martin_Stringer(web)-06589

A recent article from the Yale School of Forestry cites a study asserting that planting 1.2 trillion trees will bring our planet's climate back into balance, restore ecosystems, return stability and mitigate this terrible threat to our future.

Yes, 1.2 trillion is a huge figure, and although this is truly a massive global aim, I am reminded that all action is local.

I have seen firsthand how this works. At our Community Tree Planting in the Daintree a few weeks ago, a group of almost 100 people planted over 3,000 trees in just a few short hours. This community-based action was simple and transformative—and participating in it was inspiring.

In fact, you’ve helped Rainforest Rescue plant over 300,000 trees so far! That’s impressive. Well done, you!

The action is simple - plant trees.

Plant a tree - plant a hundred - plant thousands. At Rainforest Rescue we plant trees – beautiful and diverse, and we collect them from the rainforest trees that form some of the richest rainforest and the best carbon sinks in the world. We propagate them in our Daintree nursery and we ready them for return to Nature. Then we plant them. Lots of them.

And while it's a wonderful thing to plant trees, It’s important to note that planting rows of single 20190504-Rainforest_Rescue_Tree_Planting_Image-Martin_Stringer_0185species isn't going to give you the same climate-change-averting results that protecting and restoring a rainforest will bring. Complex forests capture and trap 40 times as much carbon as a “tree farm” does.

And a rainforest does even more and comes with myriad species that—weaving together all the available space, light, nutrients, water—efficiently creates a veritable edifice of carbon-capturing and trapping, sunlight-powered machinery.

Nature knows what she’s doing – she’s been learning on the job for best results for 4.6 billion years.

Our best bet is to enable Nature. And we do.

That’s why we, in addition to planting rainforest trees and restoring rainforests, we also buy back and protect forever rich rainforest that is at risk of being developed and forever destroyed. We save it from being removed from the cycle of life that helps keep our planetary biosphere whole and the climate stable. You do this through your support.

You also help to create nature reserves and viable wildlife corridors, ensuring that these forests will be whole forevermore – they will not be harmed. They will be allowed to develop and to be – perfectly rainforest.

In a sense, we are in the carbon business.

But we don't sell it. We never will.

To us the richness of the rainforest - particularly the Daintree where we put so much of our focus - is quite literally priceless. And while it's great for capturing carbon and keeping it out of the atmosphere, it’s also precious as habitat for the many species that rely on it.

And it’s also glorious natural, wild space, which we all benefit from.

We share this planet with Nature – we’re fortunate. We need to respect and care for Nature as it has provided for us over these many millennia. We must keep it safe, and we must restore it where it has been damaged.

So, plant trees! And help us plant trees as well.

Help everyone by helping the Earth restore and conserve its life support systems.

Trees are the answer!

Branden Barber - CEO 

 2019 Tree Planting/20190504-Rainforest_Rescue_Tree_Planting_Image-Martin_Stringer(web)-0025
photo by Martin Stringer Photography © 2019 

All photos by Martin Stringer and Silvia Di Domenicantonio 

Category: Blog
Tags: carbon, carbon sequestration, climate change, rainforest, reforestation, regeneration, tree planting, trees,

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