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10 reasons to protect forests and plant many more

In partnership with Life Terra

Life Terra is a foundation with a mission to enable people to take impactful climate action now. They facilitate tree planting, educate future generations, and develop tree monitoring technology. Life Terra is co-financed by the European Commission through the LIFE programme.
Source: LifeTerra.eu

We bring you 10 reasons to protect forests and plant many more together with our partner Life Terra; a foundation with a mission to enable people to take impactful climate action now by facilitating tree planting, educating future generations, and developing tree monitoring technology.

10 Reasons why planting trees is important

BrightVibes’ partner Life Terra is Europe’s initiative to lead the fight against climate change, prepare future generations, drive greener policies across the board and generate investment and growth in green jobs. Learn 10 reasons why planting and protecting trees and forests is important.

The greater the range and number of these plant, fungi, microbe and animal species - or the more biodiverse an area is - the healthier an area's ecosystem is considered to be.

1. BIODIVERSITY The greater the range and number of these plant, fungi, microbe and animal species – or the more biodiverse an area is – the healthier an area’s ecosystem is considered to be. Source: Unsplash/Nicomiot Photographies

1. BIODIVERSITY

In its broadest sense, biodiversity is the term used to describe all life on Earth, in all its variety. In any patch of woodland, fen, grassland or other habitat, there are more organisms – living things both large and microscopically small – present and interacting than you could count.

The greater the range and number of these plant, fungi, microbe and animal species – or the more biodiverse an area is – the healthier an area’s ecosystem is considered to be. This is because a more robust and complex habitat can provide the different conditions to suit the special needs of a variety of species.

The greater the range and number of tree, plant, fungi, microbe and animal species, the more biodiverse an area is, and the healthier an area’s ecosystem is considered to be.

Did you know ⅔ of all cancer-fighting drugs come from tropical forest plants?

2. MEDICINAL USES Did you know ⅔ of all cancer-fighting drugs come from tropical forest plants? Source: Unsplash/Florian van Duyn

2. MEDICINAL USES

Did you know that aspirin was derived from willow bark?  Or that dogwood bark has been used as a substitute for quinine? Or that ⅔ of all cancer-fighting drugs come from tropical forest plants?

Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective ways of drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

3. FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective ways of drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Source: Unsplash/Johannes Plenio

3. FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE

CO2 traps heat and is one of the main contributors to global warming. 25% of our planet’s CO2 is absorbed by land plants and trees. So trees are key in the fight against climate change. Trees remove carbon from the air, getting absorbed and stored as cellulose in their trunks, branches, and leaves. Planting trees remains one of the most cost-effective ways of drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Large trees are excellent filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates.

4. BETTER AIR QUALITY Large trees are excellent filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates. Source: Unsplash/Dmitry Gladkikh

4. Better air quality

Research shows Air pollution causes 800,000 premature deaths a year in Europe and 8.8 million worldwide. Co-author of the study, Professor Thomas Münzel, of the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Mainz in Mainz, Germany, said: “To put this into perspective, this means that air pollution causes more extra deaths a year than tobacco smoking, which the World Health Organization estimates was responsible for an extra 7.2 million deaths in 2015. Smoking is avoidable but air pollution is not. 

“The number of deaths from cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to air pollution is much higher than expected. In Europe alone, the excess number of deaths is nearly 800,000 a year and each of these deaths represents an average reduction in life expectancy of more than two years.”

Large trees are excellent filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates. They absorb pollutant gases and filter fine particulates such as dust, dirt or smoke.

Trees can cool a city by up to 8 degrees Celsius by shading homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands”, and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

5. COOLING DOWN OUR CITIES Trees can cool a city by up to 8 degrees Celsius by shading homes and streets,
breaking up urban “heat islands”, and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves. Source: Unsplash/Enrique Amaya

5. COOLING DOWN OUR CITIES

Trees can cool a city by up to 8 degrees Celsius by shading homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands”, and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves. Trees can help save up to 10% of local energy consumption by reducing a.o. air conditioning bills.

Living in close proximity of urban green spaces can improve physical and mental health.

6. HEALTH & WELL-BEING Living in close proximity of urban green spaces can improve physical and mental health. Source: Unsplash/trevor pye

6. HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Living in close proximity of urban green spaces can improve physical and mental health, for example by decreasing high blood pressure and stress. This, in turn, contributes to the well-being of urban communities. Trees have also been shown to have a positive impact on skin cancer, asthma, hypertension, and other stress related illness by filtering out polluted air, reducing smog formation, providing shade from solar radiation, and providing an attractive, calming setting for recreation.

Flooding can be significantly reduced by planting trees.

7. REDUCE FLOODING Flooding can be significantly reduced by planting trees. Source: Unsplash/Juan Davila

7. REDUCE FLOODING

Flooding can be significantly reduced by planting trees. One Colorado blue spruce, either planted or growing wild, can intercept more than 1,000 gallons of water annually when fully grown. Underground water-holding aquifers are recharged with this slowing down of water runoff. Recharged aquifers counter drought. In compacted soils, tree roots have been shown to improve infiltration by 153% compared with unplanted controls.

7 reasons to protect forests and grow many more Life Terra is a foundation with a mission to enable people to take impactful climate action now by facilitating tree planting, educating future generations, and developing tree monitoring technology. Here are 7 reasons to protect forests and grow many more. Source: Facebook/BrightVibes

3 more bonus reasons to protect and grow more forests

Below three more (of many) reasons to plant trees, grow forests and restore the health of our planet.

8. PREVENTING SOIL EROSION

A tree’s root system binds the soil and its leaves provide a barrier to the wind and rain; thus preventing soil erosion. Studies have shown that the more closely an agricultural system resembles a natural forest in its canopy structure, tree spacing and ground cover, the less chance there is of soil erosion. Traditional agroforestry techniques, which provide natural cover, have been used for centuries to produce food without causing long-term damage to the environment.

A tree’s root system binds the soil and its leaves provide a barrier to the wind and rain; thus preventing soil erosion.

8. PREVENTING SOIL EROSION A tree’s root system binds the soil and its leaves provide a barrier to the wind and rain; thus preventing soil erosion. Source: Unsplash/Jen Porter

Trees can either store harmful pollutants or actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms.

9. CLEANING THE SOIL Trees can either store harmful pollutants or actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms. Source: Unsplash/Matthew Smith

9. CLEANING THE SOIL

Trees can either store harmful pollutants or actually change the pollutant into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and farm chemicals, reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills, and clean water runoff into streams. The establishment of woody perennials and nitrogen-fixing trees close to, or intercropped with, agricultural crops maintains or improves the fertility of arable land. Trees increase the soil’s ability to absorb and retain water, produce nutrients for plants, maintain high levels of organic matter in the soil, and moderate soil temperatures.

Few things can compare with the aesthetic impact and seasonal interest that trees offer the urban setting. They provide huge visual appeal to any area and can significantly enhance the design of a streetscape.

10. VISUAL APPEAL Few things can compare with the aesthetic impact and seasonal interest that trees offer the urban setting. They provide huge visual appeal to any area and can significantly enhance the design of a streetscape. Source: Unsplash/Michael Krahn

About Life Terra Project

Life Terra is founded on the knowledge that tree planting is regarded as the most cost-effective nature-based solution to capture carbon. As part of a multi-faceted mitigation strategy, planting trees can play an important role in the fight against climate change and the devastation it causes (heat waves, drought, forest loss, desertification, erosion, flooding).

Life Terra seeks to bring people together to plant 500 million trees in 5 years, harnessing and monitoring nature’s own carbon capture mechanism and enabling citizens to take urgent action against the climate crisis.

Life Terra is one of Europe’s largest climate action initiatives. It brings together 15 experienced organizations from 8 countries and is led by the newly established Life Terra foundation. This project was awarded €7 mln support by the Life Programme, which the consortium will use as seed money to put this initiative on the map. More information about the Life project can be found under Actions and Expected results.

Life Terra seeks to bring people together to plant 500 million trees in 5 years, harnessing and monitoring nature’s own carbon capture mechanism and enabling citizens to take urgent action against the climate crisis.

Life Terra is founded on the knowledge that tree planting is regarded as the most cost-effective nature-based solution to capture carbon. Life Terra seeks to bring people together to plant 500 million trees in 5 years, harnessing and monitoring nature’s own carbon capture mechanism and enabling citizens to take urgent action against the climate crisis. Source: LifeTerra.eu

Lifeterra project : Plant Trees. Grow Forests. Restore Earth.

BrightVibes’ partner Life Terra is Europe’s initiative to lead the fight against climate change, prepare future generations, drive greener policies across the board and generate investment and growth in green jobs. 

  • Planting a diverse mix of tree species is essential to our planting plan. We believe firmly in “the right tree in the right place”, for more effective land restoration and greater ecosystem resilience.
  • Monitoring trees is important to ensure that the climate & environmental benefits we claim to make are happening! We are busy developing a state-of-the-art monitoring program, where you can track your tree.
  • Education is our most valuable investment. Life Terra is working with educational specialists to create a STEM based, interactive environmental education program for children ages 8-14.
  • Community involvement is key to our success. If we want to scale tree planting and speed up the pace of climate action, we need your help planting and teaching people how to plant.

Objectives

Life Terra is Europe’s initiative to lead the fight against climate change, prepare future generations, drive greener policies across the board and generate investment and growth in green jobs. The main objectives are to:

  1. Engage a record number of individual citizens and stakeholders to take action towards climate change mitigation by facilitating the planting of 500 million trees in Europe by 2025
  2. Connect these participants through an innovative and comprehensive web platform and app that organises and streamlines the planting process
  3. Innovate in the latest monitoring and satellite technologies to provide citizens and specialists alike with precise and transparent data on trees planted
  4. Inspire the next generation of EU citizens to thrive in the face of climate change challenges, through a unique STEM based sustainability education program

Source: LifeTerra.eu

This article was first published on BrightVibes on 3 February 2021.

 

Make an Impact

LIFETERRA: JOIN OUR MISSION TO RESTORE LANDS NEAR YOU

Join our mission to restore lands near you Plant trees, become a volunteer, trial our education course, organise a restoration project, offer land, donate a tree or compensate your carbon. Join in!

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