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April 19, 2010
WYCD #16 - Plant a Billion Trees
Well, at least plant one tree. And you don't even have to do any of the work. Join me in helping the Nature Conservancy plant a billion trees in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.
Why are we planting a billion trees?
Because the Atlantic Forest is on the brink of disappearing. Only 7% of its original area remains. It is considered one of the most endangered tropical forests. Coastal development, urban expansion, agriculture, exotic plantations, ranching and illegal logging have all contributed to the degredation of this once vast landscape.
Tropical forests are the "lungs of the Earth," storing enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen in a never-ending cycle of life. The Atlantic Forest - one of the biggest tropical forests in the world - helps regulate the atmosphere and stabilize global climate.
Forests support 1 billion people on Earth - their livelihoods, their water supplies, their energy and their cultures. The Atlantic Forest, the focus of the Plant a Billion Trees campaign, alone provides clean water and hyro energy for over 120 million people in Brazil.
The Atlantic Forest is home to 23 species of primates, 1,000 species of birds, and over 20 thousand species of plants, most of which are not found any where else on Earth.
They are working in the Atlantic Forest to restore 2.5 million acres of land by planting 1 billion trees over the next 7 years.
Tropical forests like this one play a particularly special role in the fight to end global climate change. This reforestation effort will also remove 10 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. It's like taking 2 million cars off the road.
The ecological and economical effects of the Plant a Billion Trees campaign will be felt locally and globally. One of the goals is to protect 10 critical watersheds in the Atlantic Forest that provides water and hydo power to more than 70 million people. And they hope to create 20,000 direct jobs and an additional 70,000 indirectly as part of this landmark conservation effort.
At just a dollar a tree, there has never been a conservation project of this scale that's ever been so within the world's reach. Only one dollar (or more if you wish) and you will be a part of something very special. Use the link along the right-hand side of this blog to plant your tree. Help make this blog's goal of 100 trees towards the overall 1 billion goal. Please plant a tree today and help us ensure even more lasting results for the Earth's last great places.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.