Action Card - August 2020 The Value of Trees
Material provided by Christians Aware
’There is Hope in a Tree’ Job
Trees are essential to life. They stabilise the soil, they
generate oxygen, they store carbon, they provide a
home for wildlife, they provide raw materials and
shelter.They provide food, timber, medicines and
fertility for the soil. Trees help the water cycle, they
hold rain on slopes and increase the water stored in
Trees cover roughly 30% of the land’s surface and the
world’s forests, they provide raw materials and are
home to more than 300 million people including
roughly 60 million indigenous people. More than 1.6
billion people depend on forests. 1.2 billion people in
the developing world rely on agroforestry for their
livelihoods. The trees shield food and other crops
from wind and heat. Leguminous trees transfer
nitrogen from the air into the soil.
Forests are also magical places, providing inspiration for meditation, poetry and stories. They are wonderful places to
walk and relax in.
Deforestation is a very serious problem in today’s world. In Ethiopia for example 45,000 people are being turned off their
land and large areas of forest are being felled.
The good news is that the loss of forest worldwide is slowing down. Reforestation is being tackled in many parts of the
world. This will make a contribution to soil and water protection and to bio-diversity.
The Kenya Greenbelt Movement was a pioneer in tree planting. It was started in 1977 by Wangari Maathai and the
National Council of Women. It has always taken the needs of communities into its work and has encouraged the
planting of nutritious food crops and the introduction of water harvesting schemes and training programmes. Today in
Kenya people across the country see the need to plant trees and work hard to do so.
Tree planting is one of the most effective ways of tackling climate change and also of improving farming.
The UK government recognises the value of trees in the fight against climate change. Many more woodlands must be
planted towards reaching the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The government is committed to planting 1
million trees by 2022. We can all help.
We can also find out more about the ‘billion tree campaign.’ A billion begins with one.
We can ask the Woodland Trust for advice on which trees to plant - www.woodlandtrust.org.uk
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