For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air, sequester carbon, provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification, and protect and stabilise ground cover.
In Australia, native trees assist in making our agricultural areas more sustainable – preventing salinity and soil erosion, and providing shade, shelter, food, and habitat to native animals. They provide a source of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins, latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the value of trees can’t be understated!
It has been projected that safeguarding and restoring carbon over the coming decades in our forests, peatlands and agricultural areas may reduce well over 50 gigatonnes (50,000,000,000 tonnes) of carbon emissions that would otherwise enter the atmosphere. Maintaining our forests and restoring our natural landscape will make a real difference in reducing climate change.
Researchers have identified a correlation between widespread land clearing and less rainfall in Western Australia’s Southwest region. This implies that reforestation may well have a positive effect on rainfall.
There are so many other positive benefits from planting trees:
- Improved health & wellbeing
- Providing much needed habitats
- Protecting and increasing biodiversity
- Protecting rare species
- Improving the water table and water quality
- Protecting our soil from erosion and salinity
Native Trees & Biodiversity
Biodiversity is essential to sustaining the living networks and ecosystems that provide us all with health, food, wealth, fuel and the vital services our lives depend on.
The link between climate change and biodiversity is well established and documented. Rapid climate change affects the ability for many species to adapt. As a variety of species become endangered and extinct, the natural biodiversity decreases.
We now know that mass plantings of a single species of tree does not optimise the reduction of carbon and does little to restore the natural biodiversity of our landscape. That means all those other benefits will be lost and solidifies the importance of biodiverse planting.