Facts and References

On this page, you will find an array of facts that you will find across our website, along with the references of where we are drawing this important information from.

Deforestation and Loss of Wildlife

85% of old growth primary forests worldwide are gone. - "Despite decreased deforestation rates in some regions, forest ecosystems are still under great threat. According to WRI research, 30 percent of global forest cover has been cleared, while another 20 percent has been degraded. Most of the rest has been fragmented, leaving only about 15 percent intact."

Reference: https://www.wri.org/our-work/topics/forests

58% of animals worldwide are gone.

Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/27/world-on-track-to-lose-two-thirds-of-wild-animals-by-2020-major-report-warns

82 countries out of 148 countries lying within the original forest zone have lost all their intact forest landscapes.

Reference: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/forests/solutions/our-disappearing-forests/

There are roughly 3 trillion trees on Earth — more than seven times the number previously estimated — according to a tally by an international team of scientists. The study also finds that human activity is detrimental to tree abundance worldwide. Around 15 billion trees are cut down each year, the researchers estimate; since the onset of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, the number of trees worldwide has dropped by 46%.

Reference:  http://www.nature.com/news/global-count-reaches-3-trillion-trees-1.18287

"More than 60,000 tree species are currently living on Earth. Many of them are in trouble, according to the world's first global trees database. At Least 15 Percent of the World's Tree Species Are under Threat of Extinction. The conservation status of only about 20,000 tree species, or 30 percent of the world's trees, are currently known. But of those assessed, almost half ― or 9,600 tree species ― are considered threatened with extinction. This means that around 15 percent of all tree species are under threat. More than 300 species are critically endangered, with just 50 or fewer individual trees left on the planet, the researchers said."

Reference: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/global-tree-database_us_58e769cae4b058f0a02e0c39?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

"Globally, we reforest less than half of what we cut annually" - Reference: Keenan et al. (2015)[1] show that natural forest[2] decreased by 240 M ha while planted forest[3] increased by 110 M ha from 1990 to 2015, based on annual surveys of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United National (namely FRA 2015). The majority of planted forests comprised native species with only 18–19% of the total area being of introduced species[4].

Source: Keenan and al. (2015) from FAO's 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment.
[1] Keenan, RJ, Reams, GA, Achard, F et al. (3 more authors) (2015) Dynamics of global forest area: Results from the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015. Forest Ecology and Management, 352. pp. 9-20. ISSN 0378-1127. Available by clicking here.
[2] described as vegetation that evolved naturally in an area,
[3] both intensively managed forest plantations generally composed of single tree species (e.g. rubber plantation but not oil palm plantations and other agricultural plantations) and forests established for land conservation,
[4] Payn, T., et al. (2015) Changes in planted forests and future global implications. Forest Ecology and Management, 352. pp. 57-67. Available here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112715003473

Atmospheric Carbon

We have passed over 400 ppm carbon in the atmosphere, well past maximum safe level.

Reference: https://climate.nasa.gov

Deforestation accounts for 25% of global carbon emissions caused from human activities.

Reference: https://www.greenamerica.org/save-trees

Between 2001 and 2013, greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation across the world's tropical forests were, on average, larger than Russia's economy-wide emissions in 2012.

Reference: http://www.wri.org/blog/2015/12/new-platform-reveals-how-much-carbon-locked-tropical-forests-%E2%80%93-and-how-much-was-lost

The Importance of Trees and Tropical Reforestation

Tropical trees represent one of the best solutions we have to escalating climate disruption.

Reference: http://www.drawdown.org/

"Global climate change effects everyone. The temperate region is just as impacted by tropical deforestation as the tropics, as the tropical rainforests are the lungs of the planet. We have lost vast expanses of watershed, biodiversity, carbon storage and oxygen production due to deforestation. The tropics are the most efficient place to focus on sequestering carbon with forests because of the year round growing season."

Reference: http://farmcenter.org/

Tropical forest conservation and restoration could provide up to 50% of the global warming solution over the next 50 crucial years.

Reference: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n12/full/nclimate2869.html?foxtrotcallback=true

Read our Reforestation Director's Rationale for Reforesting the Tropics climate argument:


"Human society and the global economy are inextricably linked to forests. More than 1 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. And forest ecosystems play a critical role in stabilizing the climate; providing food, water, wood products, and vital medicines; and supporting much of the world's biodiversity."

Reference: https://www.wri.org/our-work/topics/forests

"Forests are home to more than half of the world's terrestrial biodiversity."

Reference: http://www.wri.org/blog/2014/02/9-maps-explain-worlds-forests

"Why are trees such social beings? Why do they share food with their own species and sometimes even go so far as to nourish their competitors? The reasons are the same as for human communities: there are advantages to working together. A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannot establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create an ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what. If every tree were looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age. Regular fatalities would result in many large gaps in the tree canopy, which would make it easier for storms to get inside the forest and uproot more trees. The heat of summer would reach the forest floor and dry it out. Every tree would suffer.

Every tree, therefore, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible. And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover. Next time, perhaps it will be the other way round, and the supporting tree might be the one in need of assistance.


A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it."

Reference: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/26/the-hidden-life-of-trees-peter-wohlleben/


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