Reforestation is one of the simplest, most cost-effective solutions to the water scarcity and biodiversity loss caused by climate change. These threats are accelerating and will be catastrophic in coming decades unless immediate action is taken.
There Is No Technology That Can Do What Trees Do Naturally.
Forests provide us with the best solution, right now, to alleviate the effects of climate change. Trees are gigantic carbon collectors and reservoirs – soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it within their trunks, branches, and forest soil. Healthy, restored ecosystems result in climate resilience for people and for biodiversity.
Protecting remaining tropical forest while restoring degraded forest could represent as much as 50% of the immediate solution to climate change. It would provide the necessary time to transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy, which may take decades to fully implement.
[Nature Climate Change 5, 1022-1023, 2015, R.A. Houghton, Brett Byers & Alexander A Nassikas]
We all rely on forests for water. They capture preciptation and run-off and replenish groundwater. Forests hold precious soil in place, reducing erosion from wind and water. The wetlands they generate are Earth’s filtration system, purifying drinking water. And they are rainmakers. Forests perpetuate the water cycle, returning water vapor to the atmosphere through their leaves. This moisture accounts for forty percent of the planet’s annual rainfall.
Regenerating Forests Can Improve The Lives Of Forest Stewards
When peoples’ lives in indigenous and local communities improve as a result of regenerating the forest, they are motivated to be long-term, committed forest stewards. The benefits can take many forms. Reforestation jobs are just one way that rural families (often among the world’s poorest) can be empowered. Assistance in replenishing the soil and increasing crop yield is another. Some communities may want to plant fruit-bearing trees and medicinal plants on their own land or community lands. These trees can be a source of food and income and provide a sustainable alternative to cutting down forest remnants.
Learn More about Community Benefits
Protection Of Endangered Wildlife
As many as one million plant and animal species throughout the world are now at risk of extinction from land degradation and climate change, according to a May 2019 United Nations comprehensive assessment.
Healthy forest ecosystems are home to 80% of the Earth’s land animals and plants, offering the best hope for protecting our planet’s remaining biodiversity.
How We’re Scaling Up Forest Restoration
- Building conservation leadership
- Providing strategic and technical guidance
- Catalyzing restoration finance