Defend our Forest: Tree Planting Campaign
Defend our Forest: Tree Planting Campaign
Good day! We are the Treevotion Group from the City of Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines, encouraging you to be part of our advocacy. We are promoting tree planting activities in our community. Let our voices be heard, not only for our city and not only for our country but also for the whole world. Sign this petition now!
I. Why do we need trees?
Trees play a critical role for people and the planet. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the presence of trees and urban nature can improve people's mental and physical health, children's attention and test scores, the property values in a neighborhood, and beyond.
Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings.
Trees contribute a vital role to our environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe.
Properly placed trees can mitigate temperatures in built environments. Not only do trees provide shade through intercepting and absorbing light, but through evapotranspiration, trees actively cool the air of cities beyond pollution removal, the presence of trees provides additional direct and indirect benefits to human health and wellness.
II. Why are we losing trees?
According to the World Wildlife Fund, forests cover more than 30% of the Earth's land surface. The forest ecosystem supply food, medicine, materials, and fuel for more than a billion people. It also supports 13.4 million people worldwide with jobs in the forest sector, and another 41 million people have jobs related to forests.
A study published in Nature had estimated that our planet has 3.04 trillion trees. However, this research had also pointed out that 15.3 billion trees were chopped down every year and 46% of the world's trees have been cleared over the past 12,000 years. In 2018, The Guardian reported that every second, a chunk of forest equivalent to the size of a soccer field is lost.
Here are some human activities that contribute to deforestation:
- Conversion to Agricultural Land
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United States, agriculture causes around 80% of deforestation. People turn to forests in search of a new space to grow crops, fibers, and biofuels. Moreover, the same report also indicated that 33% of agriculture-caused deforestation is a consequence of subsistence agriculture – such as local peasant agriculture in developing countries.
The FAO stated that the populational shift that is leading people to migrate from rural areas to urban areas is also contributing 5% to the overall deforestation rate. 68% of the world's population is expected to move to cities by the year 2050 and this urban growth is leading to an exponential growth of housing. Thus, the major cities will turn to their natural boundaries -forest- for expansion.
- Livestock Breeding
Beef production is one of the drivers of deforestation. Extensive cattle ranching is the number one culprit of deforestation in virtually every Amazon country, and it accounts for 80% of current deforestation (Nepstad et al. 2008). A large area is needed to breed and feed the cattle and thus, contributing to deforestation.
- Timber Extraction
The One Tree Planted Organization had reported that around 380,000 hectares of forest are cut every year to meet the incredible global demand for wood and wood products, accounting for around 60% of degradation. Timber logging, both legal and illegal, greatly contribute to the massive destruction of our forest ecosystem. Furthermore, Environment Paper Network had stated that the paper that is thrown away each year accounts for approximately 640 million trees. America, China, Canada, Japan, constitute more than that of the world’s paper production, and that is 400 million tons a year.
The Philippines is the fifth mineral-rich country in the world. Because of this, 18% of the forest was lost due to mining as stated in Born to be Wild. A large chunk of forest was cleared to give way to mineral extraction. This does not only affect our forest, but also our marine ecosystem.
- Oil extraction
The popularity of palm oils used for both food and personal products leads people to clear forest areas and grow palm trees instead.
According to a report published by Zion Market Research, the global palm oil market was valued at $65.73 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $92.84 billion this year, 2021.
- Infrastructure development
The Global Forest Atlas had written that infrastructure development, such as dams for hydroelectric power, has a significant impact on forests, as well as other ecosystems. The road and building construction also contribute to deforestation.
Some other reasons include natural causes such as hurricanes, wildfires, and parasites.
III. Why should we care about deforestation?
Lots of reports abroad show that most of the forests are undergoing deforestation.
Deforestation rates have declined by more than 50 percent in the past decade. Today, approximately 10 billion trees are lost annually due to deforestation and would mean the loss of all trees for the next 300 years. According to World Bank, since people are cutting down trees, the rate of the trees that have been felled dropped to 46%.
Furthermore, based on a 2015 study in Journal Nature, for the past 50 years, approximately about 17% of the Amazonian rainforest has been destroyed and the loss rate has been on the rise. Such environmental problems could be seen in many aspects including their impact on our nature as well as our environment.
However, there are serious concerns that arise in this worldwide deforestation as we have chopped half of the total trees population. With this being said, the absence of trees would result in higher amounts of carbon dioxide and lower amounts of oxygen. Given this instance, a human would not be able to survive due to inappropriate air for breathing. Moreover, such deforested areas would suffer from chronic drought as a lack of trees would yield to a lack of moisture in the air. Furthermore, Environmental concerns might arise like climate change, global warming, extreme weather conditions, wildfires, etc.
Based on the statistics made by Global Forest Watch, In the Philippines, from 2001 to 2019, 76% of tree cover has been lost annually due to deforestation. From 2002 to 2019, the Philippines lost 143kha of humid primary forest, making up 12% of its total tree cover loss in the same period. which resulted in a decrease of 3.1% of the total humid primary forest in the Philippines. Moreover, the top 11 regions were responsible for 51% of all tree cover loss between 2001 and 2019. Palawan had the most tree cover loss at 152kha compared to an average of 15.1kha.
According to Joel Palma, WWF Philippines president, and chief executive officer shows that records from the department of environment and natural resources about 47 000 hectares of forest cover are lost annually, due to illegal logging and lack of security in areas declared as wildlife sanctuaries.
With this being said, we could clearly derive that, with the absence of forests more and more harmful and fatal diseases could emerge from the wild that will greatly affect humans. If forests continue to denude, then we will expect that for the next two decades we will lose our forests as well as the risks of emerging diseases would rise.
Trees play a crucial and important role in our existence. Therefore, society must give more attention as well as action to our environment as it could affect our lives.
IV. How can we help?
The essence of living is to take care of what had given to us, one of that is the environment we have. As a human being who has the power of the mind to think of the best way for our environment, diverting it into action is a responsibility that we must do. Tree planting activities are the most effective ways to give back a quality of life to Earth. An individual can do single steps to give something to our environment through planting trees.
Let’s start in ourselves in our homes. Home gardening is the cultivation of small-scale land where can be work done in our households. It is accessible in both rural and urban areas where every family can start to build. It serves as an option if you don’t have enough space for tree planting. It leads the family to live healthy to assure the food production and security to easy access to nutritious foods they planted. Aside from that, it brings environmental benefits as well. According to US Green Technology, there are lots of advantages that we can provide to our environment through planting; plants can naturally clean the air; they produce oxygen that helps us to survive and they also remove any chemicals and bacteria floating in the air providing a clean surrounding to breathe in. It provides shelter by blocking the heat of the sun that keeps your place cooler. It prevents soil erosion, replenishes nutrients in the soil, reduces noise pollution, and supports beneficial insects and birds. By doing the home gardens can produce a better impact on our environment.
Another way, be an advocate for tree planting activities. We can start building a group of tree planting advocators to aim for a greener environment for the community. Be a voice for trees by encouraging constituents to start planting. As an individual, you may lead your campaign around your area and sooner the whole community. Besides, you can join in various tree-planting campaigns. Locally, there are hundredths of tree planting campaigns raised by foundations and even small groups. One of them is the SMCC Tree Planting Activity in Indang, Cavite aims to raise awareness about tree planting and saving trees and to diminish unfavorable effects of climate change. They do their works with the DENR ensuring that plants will grow in a clean area. To add it with the same campaign worldwide is a huge help to protect Earth. Imagine participating in those campaigns is just like every act to plant 2,500 trees for one hectare in our country. By planting trees are roles in fighting against environmental problems. It is an overwhelming journey to see the world in converse biodiversity, having good water and air quality, and a clean atmosphere to breathe. Showing small efforts is a great help in an ecosystem.
There are also lots of actions to do. These are some solutions not to completely lost trees. Instead of cutting down trees, for instance, if space is needed to occupy why not translocate it to an area where it can live and assure its longevity. To space where it deserves to put on wherein people will take care of it. Or some reason, make it uprooted so that it can be replanted to open space. For every chopped tree substitute it for an equivalent of more than 10 trees to be planted. On the other side, to support this, we must inculcate in our minds that every day shall be a tree day. Every day is a choice for us to begin this activity. Every day is our chance to prove that we care for our environment. Every day is our time to promote tree planting.
Moreover, having concern for our environment is not just can be shown during our existence. It is essential now to keep in mind that today being die could not end-up our responsibility to Earth. As stated from the Project Nightfall Facebook page, there are real options that we can take in, one of these is to become fertilizer to a tree by having our ash in a biodegradable shaped holder where it is attached after.
Another environmentally way to die is the experiment of Jae Rhim Lee, which is mushroom burial. It was designed by a suit where the body will encase into it and imbed with a mushroom so that they can grow as the body decays. It leads us to a responsible way of thinking about death. Our body will equip as a contributor to a healthy environment, our existence may die but the benefits to provide for living people will remain to exist.
We can do such tree planting activities in our ways. Regardless of our choices on how we do it, its utmost importance gives something that our environment deserves to have. By simply planting and reviving trees or dedicating our body to environmental growth is a thing that reflects our efficient living in this world.
What are you waiting for? Join our campaign and be a hero. Defend our forest from deforestation. Sign this petition now!
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