Trees are the Earth’s greatest assets to its health. They help clean the air and water, control temperature and climate, and support ecosystems that include not just wildlife but humans. The Nature Conservancy is working to ensure the Earth has plenty of trees for the future.
The Nature Conservancy’s Plant A Billion campaign aims to plant 1 billion new trees by 2025, which includes raising $123 million this year to support their efforts. Deforestation is a problem around the globe and one of the leading causes of climate change. The Nature Conservancy is focusing their efforts on three affected areas where they will work to replenish forests and hopefully equip the Earth to fight back against the effects of climate change.
One of the areas of focus is Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world according to TNC. They report that today only 12% of the forest still exists. They are also working to restore Cerrado Forest, home to more than 10,000 plants and 1,300 animals, and a key resource to the people of Brazil. Cerrado Forest is home to the most important source of fresh water for people in Brazil, meaning 130 million people could be without clean water due to its degradation, TNC says.
In China, TNC is working to repair the forests of the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, homes to endangered species like the Yunnan golden monkey and the panda. Their efforts in China will hopefully help save the important species and stabilize the climate, while supporting the communities that rely on the forests to survive. TNC has also committed to training local communities in forest management to ensure the continued success of the forests.
Here at home in the US, TNC is working from coast to coast, planting new trees from Boston to Los Angeles. They are planting tree seedlings in areas most damaged and working towards natural regeneration in areas where forest might have a chance of repairing themselves to maximize the productivity of donations. According to TNC, the continued degradation of the forests in the US will result in 50% of the nation’s water going unfiltered and 12% of US carbon emissions will not be absorbed.
With a mission as ambitious as theirs, every little bit of help means a lot. At the time of this post they had raised just over $17 million dollars towards their $123 million worldwide goal. So visit plantabillion.org and join the movement, you can choose which location you’d like your money used and see all the places they are planting on their interactive maps. You will be able to see exactly how your donation is making an impact, at home, abroad, and for the planet.