Reforestation has various benefits aside from planting trees and creating a greener planet. 🌳
Reforestation refers to the act of replanting trees in an area where deforestation has occurred due to environmental disasters, agriculture, or land development.
Humans are currently cutting down 15 billion trees per year and only replanting about 5 billion. If we keep going at this rate, we will lose our world's forests in 300 years!
We must recuperate from this loss - and fast.
Trees are not only detrimental to the health of the environment, but they are extremely important for our wellbeing as forests produce 28% of the oxygen we breathe.
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Aside from the obvious benefits of reforestation, here are a few reasons why reforestation is so important:
Reforestation fights poverty
Deforestation hits impoverished nations the hardest, and unfortunately, they are far more likely to experience it than developed countries.
In these countries, deforestation occurs when land is cleared for agriculture, logging for firewood, and construction for short term economic gain.
However, over time, these lands become infertile and unable to sustain crops or the lives of animals, taking away their livelihood.
Tree planting organizations such as Eden Reforestation Projects acknowledge these threats and choose to only fund reforestation projects where they are needed most.
Tree planting in impoverished nations fights poverty by providing the locals with a consistent income to provide for their families while recovering their natural resources.
Reforestation helps sequester harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the greenhouse gas that is most responsible for global warming. Humans worldwide emit 1,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every single second! This is a 47% increase since the start of the Industrial Age.
We emit more carbon dioxide than ever before, but luckily forests help us out with this problem.
Forests play a massive role in sequestering carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. According to Timothy Fahey, Professor of Ecology at Cornell University, a 50-year-old oak forest would sequester 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre.
Our forests are essential for tackling this CO2 problem because they store the gas underground and within their trunks.
Trees are global warming warriors and are one solution to reducing the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere.
Reforestation recovers biodiversity
When done correctly, reforestation can restore the biodiversity in an area affected by deforestation. Biodiversity refers to the variety of life in the world or a particular habitat or ecosystem.
A degraded ecosystem is often missing species or even whole functional groups such as tall-standing trees crucial for providing enough shade to the smaller trees.
Not to mention that endangered species of plants can be revived!
By reforesting and planting trees native to an area, biodiversity begins to come back to the once decimated location.
Reforestation restores animal habitats
Of course, tree planting helps our furry friends, too! Reforestation has the potential to restore various habitats and save countless animals' lives.
It's no secret that trees support the lives of many large organisms. Trees are an essential source of food, shelter, and sites for reproduction. Many animals also use trees for resting, nesting, and places to hunt or capture prey.
After a wildfire, for example, thousands of animals are often displaced from their habitats. Their deforested habitat forces them to go elsewhere for food and shelter. Reforesting their homeland encourages animals to return to their natural habitats that were affected by deforestation.
And when animals are comfortable in their habitat, biodiversity and species flourish.
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Get out there and advocate for reforestation efforts in your area to create a cleaner, greener, and flourishing home for yourself - and your neighbours!