Planting Trees Helps Our Environment And Saves Lives

Planting Trees Helps Our Environment And Saves Lives

Planting Trees. Saving Lives.

At Climate Action Now we applaud the many organizations, around the world, that are planting trees. As trees grow, they slow climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Helping to restore our environment.

That’s good.

But some tree planting programs are designed to go beyond simple reforestation and present a benefit to the local population. Bringing environmental balance back to these impoverished populations can save lives and livelihoods.

And that’s better.

Our tree planting partner is Eden Reforestation Projects. They say this about the problem and solution to deforestation: “Deforestation is a global phenomenon caused by a variety of factors. These factors range from large-scale slash and burn practices, to unsustainable agriculture, to daily community forest destruction.”

“Regions that are most impacted by deforestation are highly poverty-stricken and underdeveloped areas. With few options to support their families, often, members of impoverished communities are forced to destroy their local environment to survive, such as cutting down trees for construction, fuel, heat, and agricultural purposes. While this solves a short-term problem, long-term consequences arise when forests are cut down and not restored. The impact of deforestation is dramatic because it causes severe flooding, erosion, and desertification. The long-term effects of deforestation lead to even worse environmental devastation.”

And the solution helps our environment: “There are two key elements to successful reforestation. The first is that reforestation must present a benefit to the local population. Due to the unsustainable relationship between the land and the people, communities suffering from deforestation are often the same as those living in extreme poverty. It is essential to be committed to and work alongside local villages and communities to achieve a successful and longstanding reforestation effort. Eden Reforestation Projects utilizes an “Employ to Plant” methodology to benefit the members in the local communities in which we plant. Through steady employment, impoverished villagers can begin to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.” – Eden Reforestation Projects.

So, beyond the obvious environmental benefits of planting trees, animal habitats are being restored. Flooding and erosion decrease and soil quality increases which results on better crop yield. With stabilized farms the local economy can grow. Jobs return. Extreme poverty decreases.

And precious lives are saved.
Watch this video about Eden Reforestation Projects’ 2020 year in review:

Let us know your thoughts about these initiatives and other planet saving projects you are finding.

Patrick published his memoir A Green One for Woody in 2013. He is Chief Marketing Officer for Climate Action Now and has held senior management positions with The Interpublic Group, HanesBrands, Inc. and Krispy Kreme. He is married and lives in North Carolina.