Trees are a crucial part of the ecological balance that is under threat from human activity
Of all the Earth’s natural resources, it would be hard to find anything more perfect than trees. From cleaning the air to preventing soil erosion, providing shelter for wildlife and humans as well as fuel and livelihoods, trees have been lifesavers – and largely taken for granted because of their seemingly endless supply.
Numerous global organisations, though, have been sounding alarm bells over the past decade about the widespread destruction of forests, calling on governments to better protect forests and on businesses to treat them more responsibly. Awareness has grown in the public and industrial sectors about the need to be more thoughtful when considering forest use and take steps to replace trees. But the crisis is still here and experts say the importance of healthy forests, particularly rainforests, cannot be overstated.
“Forests are the most complex ecosystems on Earth and the most complex social habitats,” according to Jeff Conant, an international forests campaigner for Friends of the Earth US, part of the largest environmental group in the world, which develops public advocacy campaigns to protect tropical forests.
Forests still cover 31% of the planet’s land area and 1.6 billion people rely directly on their many benefits, but only 10% of the...