Submitted by Arbor Day Foundation
The power to change the climate, to clean the air, to purify water and to give hope to humanity comes from the simple act of planting trees.
Forests offer one of the best chances to stem climate change, and they are by far the lowest-cost and most scalable carbon solution, according to the National Academy of Science. Further evidence from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that since 1750, one-third of all the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere comes from deforestation. With 50-60% of clean water coming from forested ecosystems, reforestation delivers multiple benefits on each acre returned to forest.
Trees are nature’s solution to rising temperatures, increased flooding and pollution control. Trees are the green infrastructure that will hold our soils in place, clean our streams and rivers, purify the air we breathe and shrink the carbon footprint of our industrious nation. Trees provide the bridge to a low carbon world. We need trees on scale. New forests, grown and managed to achieve thriving density, depend on expert planning, soil analysis and proven best management practices in forestry.
To deliver a scaled response to our climate and water security needs, the Arbor Day Foundation and GreenTrees have joined forces to deliver global scale as we race to bend the climate curve, increase biodiversity and purify water.
The Arbor Day Foundation has always believed in the power of trees, to beautify the planet, clean the air, protect water resources, shade our homes and provide critical wildlife habitat. We have worked with our partners and through our network of more than a million members to plant more than 250 million trees in backyards and communities, State and National forests, on campuses, and along river systems around the globe. We do this work to make our world greener, healthier, and more resilient, and because we know trees are a solution to global issues.
GreenTrees is the leading carbon reforestation program in North America and has focused its efforts on reforestation within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV)– America’s Ark of Biodiversity. The MAV drains 41% of the United States and two Canadian Provinces and serves as a flyway for 60% of birds in North America. This unique program also incentivizes landowner participation through a public/private partnership model that keeps farmers on their land and creates economic incentives for environmental stewardship.
The partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and GreenTrees seeks to not only deliver scale in this region but also leverages our collective resources to apply proven science around the world in other river systems.
A recent study commissioned by GreenTrees showed that reforestation brought to scale around the world can sequester as much as 15% of the world’s current emission output. This scale will lead to a ten-percent reduction of of Global Mean Temperature (GMT) in absolute terms. As the world races to prevent a 2 degree C rise of GMT, reforestation is the only immediately scalable solution. Unfortunately, and far too often, people get caught up and limited by mechanical solutions as the only answer.
There is a genius to nature. Unfortunately, and far too often, people get caught up and limited by mechanical solutions as the only answer. Given 1/3 of all the emissions has come from deforestation, it only makes sense that we embrace the power of nature and restore ecosystems around the world and do it on scale.
Trees have the power to change lives and perspectives. Our love of trees is being coupled with a scientific urgency, which says what the world needs now is new and expansive forests on scale - And soon. Now, we are growing new forests at a rate seldom seen in North America and targeting river systems to deliver multiple benefits in terms of carbon, water and wildlife habitat.
It is time that we embrace the power of nature and plant trees! On this Arbor Day observance, we need to start thinking of nature as a source of innovation and a technological solution. Reforestation is driving countless regenerative benefits – to our environment, to our economy, and to future generations.
Arbor Day Foundation President
Jerry Van Voorhis
GreenTrees, LLC President and CEO
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world.
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