The Importance of Reforestation
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 14:03:44 PM America/Los_Angeles
What is reforestation?
Reforestation is exactly what the words suggest--the act of replenishing forests and other landscapes that have been affected by deforestation. However, reforestation isn’t limited to just the deep woods or jungles and can also refer to tree planting efforts in urban areas. In the wild, reforestation is typically done to counter the effects of timber harvesting. In more populous environments such as a big city, “reforestation” typically refers to massive tree planting that is done to manage air quality, beautify neighborhoods, and provide shade.
Photo by Daiga Ellaby
Why is reforestation good for the environment?
- Reforestation battles climate change primarily by offsetting fossil fuel emissions. Trees help absorb the carbon in the air and they currently remove roughly 3 billion tons of carbon a year. That may sound a lot, but it’s still less than ⅓ of the carbon we produce! This is why continued reforestation efforts are vital to offsetting emissions and reversing the effects of climate change.
- Healthy and plentiful trees are what foster and sustain biodiversity. Other pressing issues such as endangered species and disappearing fauna can be supported through reforestation. Trees provide essential food and habitation for the critters that rely on them.
- People are starting to recognize the importance of trees in urban and suburban locales as well. Abundant trees not only provide shade, which grows increasingly important as climate change prompts soaring temperatures, they can actually lower the temperature by about 8-10 degrees! This happens because the trees reflect sunlight and provide shade, but also because they release moisture into the air through a process called transpiration.
Can reforestation stop climate change?
Reforestation has a number of benefits, least of which is its ability to mitigate the impact of climate change. But there are other reasons that it’s vital for the earth and its inhabitants; reforestation directly responds to the consequences of clearing land for construction and farming for timber. The good news is that many businesses, organizations, and governments have noted reforestation’s benefits and have committed to advancing reforestation efforts in hopes of making a serious dent in the rapid advancement of climate change. Reforestation might not be able to single-handedly stop climate change, but the research shows that it’s a big step in the right direction.
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