Firstly, what is deforestation?
Deforestation is the act of removing a wide area of trees which in turn leads to a reduction in natural wildlife, biodiversity, forests, and global tree volume.
How many trees exist on in the world on earth and how severe is deforestation?
According to a study by Nature Journal in 2015, approximated there were 3.04 trillion trees on earth however they have estimated 15 billion trees are cut every year and the global number of trees have fallen by 46% since the start of human civilisation.
How does deforestation contribute to climate change and global warming?
Trees are a part of the natural cycle of life and we as humans are co-dependent on trees to support the oxygen – carbon dioxide cycle. Leaves on trees carry out a process called photosynthesis to generate energy where they combine water and carbon dioxide to release oxygen and glucose for energy. Humans in turn utilise oxygen for energy production via combustion releasing carbon dioxide as a waste gas.
The release of atmospheric gases and natural processes have been in homeostasis meaning a good balance to allow the world to thrive. However, over the last 100 years, with the industrial revolution, the burning of natural gas fuels, deforestation and reduction in wildlife have meant this balance is now becoming unstable. With an increase in carbon dioxide in the air, sunlight entering our atmosphere is contained and not efficiently released back out into the universe as it should, leading to warming of the globe. Global warming has catastrophic effects on the environment and creatures of earth. With the rise of the global temperature, not only is our planet becoming a difficult habitat but other effects including ice caps melting at the poles, leading to a larger volume of free water which in turn is reducing land mass. The overall result is an imbalance on the planet which is leading to an uncertain future.
Will planting trees help climate change?
Yes. More trees on earth means a reduction in free carbon dioxide which should start to slow and with hope, even reverse the global warming we have seen over the last 100 years. Reforestation would also support the thriving of global wildlife and help prevent the rarest of animal species from going extinct.
It is also important to plant trees to support the recycling of wood used in many industries including construction and furniture.
How is planting trees sustainable and how is the wood industry regulated?
Planting trees are essential for a thriving wildlife and to recycle the wood we use. Wood is especially an important material due to its naturally hard properties; it is perfect in use for housing structures and furniture. Organisations in the wood industry such as FSC and PEFC, ensure that wood is sustainably sourced and forests are maintained to a high standard with great nurturing care.
To truly make a change, we need to plant more trees than we use globally. Partnering with organisations who are dedicated to planting more trees is a fantastic method to support the increase in the number of trees in the world and importantly diversify natural wildlife.
How can I plant a trees?
You can help by either planting a tree in your garden if you have the space or what is just as good is to donate to one of many reforestation charities who are focussed on nurturing natural environments and planting new trees.