Trees absorb carbon
Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our atmosphere are higher than at any time during the last 800,000 years: average temperatures are rising. When producing oxygen trees absorb carbon: up to 0.5 ton of carbon in its lifetime, depending on species and climate!
Trees make clouds and balance the water-cycle
Trees release water vapour and microscopic nuclei needed for cloud formation. Clouds have a high albedo effect, reflecting the incident solar radiation back into space. Adding 20 million km² of forest could create an additional 2% cloud coverage over the entire planet, countering current global warming.
Did you know that trees contributed to the releasing of microscopic nuclei needed for cloud formation? Over major tropical rainforests across the world one finds rather dense cloud formations. Clouds are formed by water vapour condensing around these microscopic nuclei. The more low altitude clouds are created through this natural system, the better we can cool our planet. WeForest supports this ground breaking research on trees and water-cycle.
Trees create jobs
Around 10 million people are employed around the world in conventional forest management and conservation. More than 1 billion forest adjacent people are informal custodians of forests. They rely on forest products and services for a significant part of their livelihoods. Approximately 500 million small-scale farmers in the tropics retain and manage trees on their farms for livelihood goals.Trees provide sources of timber, fuel wood, food, fodder, medicines and shade.
The employees on our projects are often farmers and have no other cash than what they earn working with us. This enables them to get better food, buy medicine and provide their children with education, which is the only way out of poverty.
Planting 2,000 trees provides employment for 1 person for a whole month in some of our projects and in the countries where we work one person often supports a large family, where no other cash economy exits. With their salaries, the women who work on our projects are able to send their children to school or pay for medicine.
Trees prevent soil erosion and desertification
Forests form the foundation of many natural systems. They help restore soils, reduce landslides, prevent desertification and protect coastal areas. Did you know that 10 million km2 of degraded farmland covering our Earth was abundant forest lands at the beginning of the 20th century? Deforestation through poor agricultural practices, overgrazing, demographic pressure resulted is massive deterioration of ecosystems, the destruction of the soil integrity and, as a consequence, poverty.
Trees and biodiversity
Forests are the most important repositories of terrestrial biological biodiversity, housing up to 90 per cent of known terrestrial species.
Trees and shrubs play a vital role in the daily life of rural communities. Forest animals have a vital role in forest ecology such as pollination, seed dispersal and germination. Forests must however be diverse in species and planted sustainably. This is made possible by using agroforestry or permaculture, which combines modern science with traditional wisdom, leveraging as much as possible from nature for the biggest benefit to the environment, local population and biodiversity. A "food forest" for example is an orchard and garden combined into a biodiverse, forest-mimicking, multi-layered, symbiotic mix of edible and medicinal plants. By design, it maximizes the productive use of light, water, and soil nutrients.