The International Day of Forests is held annually on 21 March to raise awareness of the importance of forests to people and their vital role in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security.
Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, performing vital functions around the world and being the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food and shelter. Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
A partnership with One Tree Planted
In 2019, Sonnedix launched a partnership with One Tree Planted, a non-profit environmental charity focused on global reforestation. Their reforestation projects rebuild forests after natural disasters and deforestation and in 2019 alone, they planted over 4 million trees, more than 1.8 million in North America, 1.2 million in Africa, 465,000 in Asia, and 423,000 in Latin America.
Trees are incredibly important in mitigating climate change, with healthy, strong trees acting as carbon sinks; absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide and reducing the effects of climate change. A single mature tree can absorb 48lbs. of carbon a year and makes enough clean oxygen for 4 people to breathe fresh air. A previous special report by IPCC stated that tree-planting could sequester around 1.1–1.6 GT of CO2 per year.
Chiefs of the UN-REDD programme declared that “forests are a major, requisite front of action in the global fight against catastrophic climate change – thanks to their unparalleled capacity to absorb and store carbon. Forests capture carbon dioxide at a rate equivalent to about one-third the amount released annually by burning fossil fuels. Stopping deforestation and restoring damaged forests, therefore, could provide up to 30 percent of the climate solution.”
Our first donation of 2020
Australia has experienced one of the largest natural disasters in history. This fire season has brought about unprecedented destruction, as wildfires have spread across every Australian state, destroying the habitat of many of Australia’s iconic wildlife and killing over 33 people. In addition, these wildfires have burned up over 11 million hectares of bush, forest and parks which would normally be vital carbon sinks in the mitigation of climate change. But the impact to climate change doesn’t stop there – wildfires also emit massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants as the trees burn, which affects regional and even global climate.
At the moment, the focus in Australia is on managing and mitigating the fires at hand, as well as protecting properties and assessing the impact they have had on local communities and environments. But plenty of support will be needed to restore this landscape back to health. In light of this, Sonnedix has donated funds to plant 5000 trees in Australia, in order to assist One Tree Planted to hit the ground running, repair these vital carbon sinks, and continue our efforts to mitigate climate change one tree at a time. One Tree Planted are hoping to have the ability to contribute to the restoration of over 6 million trees across the country in 2020.