Forests cover about 30 percent of the planet's landmass and provide us with two of life's essentials, food and oxygen. We also utilise trees for preventing flooding and erosion, filtering pollutants, generating rainfall that feeds our crops, and so much more. A world without trees would be no world for humans and their loss would go far beyond the aesthetic.
The environmental impact of deforestation is catastrophic. The World Bank Group reported a shocking loss of 1.3 million square kilometres of forests since 1990, that's an area larger than South Africa. Another way to look at it is, we've been losing the equivalent of 1,000 football fields of forests every hour since 1990.
Deforestation happens for various reasons, although agriculture is by far the largest contributor around the world. For a more detailed explanation of deforestation see the Nation Geographic.
Planting trees is important because they:
- Provide oxygen
- Prevent water pollution by filtering water naturally
- Clean the air around us by absorbing odours and pollutant gasses
- Help combat climate change by absorbing CO2
Planting trees can also:
- Provide humans, birds and wildlife with food
- Provide suburban and rural areas with wood
- Increase of property valuation by as much as 15 percent
Trees are the lungs of our planet. It's critical that woodlands, rainforests and trees in urban settings, such as parks, are preserved and sustainably managed across the world.