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Planting trees is not enough in the fight against Climate Change

In the fight against Climate Change, ecosystem restoration is a great solution but it is only one of many actions that must be considered.

For years we have been hearing about Climate Change and its depressing effects on planet Earth, melting poles, rising seawater levels, etc. We have witnessed the creation of millions of campaigns to reverse this threat, from small initiatives to large movements promoted by highly-recognized organizations. But very few of those campaigns provide an optimistic scenario based on real projections. This is one of the reasons why the Trillion Tree Campaign became so viral.

In July 2019, a group of researchers from the Crowther lab (Eth Zurich) published a study where they estimated that planting a trillion of trees in certain parts of the world allows capturing more than 200 gigatonnes of carbon (GtC) of the ~300 GtC that was added to the atmosphere as a result of human activity. Therefore, in the 2020 World Economic Forum, the Trillion Tree Campaign was launched as an initiative that seeks using the largest tool we have to combat climate change: nature. But, according to Thomas Crowther, one of the main scientific advisors of this campaign, "restoration is not a silver bullet"; this is just one of the many actions that must be taken into account to combat climate change. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, and the protection of the remaining ecosystems, cannot be ignored.

And more importantly to consider, "planting trees is not enough", to be truly effective planting trees must be done in an "ecologically responsible way”. In other words, it is not enough to plant a trillion trees anywhere, because there are regions where this is not naturally suitable and would be counterproductive, such as areas where savannahs and peatlands naturally grow. Therefore, it is extremely important that these trees form healthy and functional ecosystems, for this we must ensure that it is the right tree species, in the right soil type, so that the right microbiota can grow and the natural processes that make these trees habitat for local species can occur, thus promoting a healthy ecosystem capable of providing ecosystem services.

No, it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. We invite you to learn more about this campaign and how to use the tools available to make a difference by watching this video (click here) and by visiting these new platforms: Trillion Tree Campaign and the Restor open data platform.


Written by: Michelle Castellanos

Provita Dec 12, 2020


IUCN Red List of Ecosystems


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