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Climate corner: Tree planting now a trend

Dabaso Kantoma in North Horr, Marsabit, plants drought-resistant seedlings. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Tree planting is now a trend. Almost every institution and corporate that wants to be sound environmentally correct has set up a solid green project key among the tree planting campaign.

The Standard Group is leading the way with a massive tree-planting campaign in partnership with Fruity Trees Africa, to reverse decades of deforestation, drought, and land degradation.

Under the project, they plan to increase forest cover by planting trees in all 30,000 plus public schools. With this growing interest so how does tree planting or afforestation reduce the impact of global warming?

“A carefully considered tree-planting strategy that includes local communities is essential to protecting the world’s soil, biodiversity, and carbon sinks,” CIFOR Director General Robert Nasi told Forest News.

The news site notes that afforestation and reforestation initiatives not only help to mitigate the effects of climate change, but also support the transition to a regenerative economy that casts nature as a partner rather than an obstacle.

Forest News notes that tree planting is more complex than simply planting seeds wherever there is soil.

It notes that planting is just the start of the restorative process and should be seen as a long-term investment in the management and growth of a tree over many years.

Nature.com notes that when it comes to fighting global warming, trees have emerged as one of the most popular weapons.

“With nations making little progress controlling their carbon emissions, many governments and advocates have advanced plans to plant vast numbers of trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an attempt to slow climate change,” it notes.

Carbon sink

WWF says climate change is one of the greatest threats humankind has known and forests can be part of the solution. The organisation points out that forests and climate are intrinsically linked: forest loss and degradation are both a cause and an effect of our changing climate.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees centigrade will be impossible without a major role for forests, both because of the massive emissions reductions that can be achieved by ending deforestation and because of the additional carbon that can be sequestered through improved forest management and reforestation.

According to UNEP forests also provide non-carbon services that are essential for human societies to thrive: from their role in sustaining livelihoods to providing water and food security, and regulating global rainfall patterns.

To succeed with tree planting as a restorative strategy, the right tree must be planted in the right place for the right purpose.

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