The Importance of Forests

Apr 25, 2022

An article by Francisca Gusmão & Tiago Jesus.

You might sometimes question why the Global Tree Initiative is so keen on planting trees and protecting forests.

It is a healthy question. Why trees and forests? Why not something else entirely?

Last month, on March 21, we celebrated the International Day of Forests. On that day, we shared with you a little bit about why forests matter. Let us delve a little deeper into that.

The Earth’s biosphere is of immense complexity. It is multi-layered; it is varied; it is wide. It is, furthermore, deeply interconnected.

Our planet Earth has evolved in such a way that has enabled life to happen. That is no simple task. Countless – often invisible to our eyes – processes must happen to ensure our existence in this world.

Forests play a significant role among other things, in keeping the planet’s nutrient cycle in balance. Natural forests, contrary to conventional agricultural fields and plantations, allow that cycle to feed itself by using nutrients from the soil and giving it back through dead leaves and animals. On the contrary, conventional agriculture breaks this cycle during the harvest. This often results in a barren land, where the soil has little nutrients and life left.

Healthy forests also keep the local (and global) temperatures low. It has been shown that urban forests, for instance, reduce the heat island effect*. This brings a more pleasant environment to cities. Furthermore, as our consultant, Mark Allaway, suggests in a previous article, urban forests can also filter the air and noise, improving the overall quality of life.

Most of us appreciate visiting forests and other natural sites. However, we often forget that forests are more than the greenery and bark. Most life lives underneath our feet.

Forests present a complex system of roots, rodents, insects, bacteria, and fungi which live in the soil. They communicate with one another, keeping the soil – and the forest – alive. This incredible biodiversity allows for the soil to remain rich and moist. This makes the entire ecosystem more resilient to change.

As Mark suggested in his article about the Miyawaki method, “a multi-layered approach to the structure of any forest is especially important.” A multi-layered and biodiverse forest has the characteristics we require to prevent further consequences from climate change.

Having said this, what do you think? We would love to hear your personal stories about the importance of protecting and restoring forests.


*The heat island effect is a phenomenon whereby big urban centres show significantly elevated temperatures when compared to the surrounding areas.

[mage courtesy of Sippakorn Yamkasikorn from Pexels]


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Other blog posts

Ask me (almost) anything, August 2022

Team members, Jeremy and Ralph, are interested in doing a tree-planting project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.They need more information about planting in the tropics.

Mewsings from Jorge, August 2022

After all of that travelling, Mama was off again! I did not want her to go. She is my whole world, although I do like hearing about her experiences when she comes home.

Food for Thought, August 2022

This delicious recipe opens the opportunity to talk about an important but often uncomfortable topic: food waste.

Growing friendships through the Global Tree Initiative

The Global Tree Initiative (GTI) is not just about planting trees. It is, also, about creating communities and growing friendships. 

Ask me (almost) anything, July 2022

For this article about deserts, Mark advised that the main focus was not on planting trees, but on highlighting the conventional wisdom to regenerate landscapes.

Mewsings from Jorge, July 2022

Happy July – It is Time to Fly! Interpreted by Jennifer Troyan (aka Mama) This is post 3 of the 3-part travel series from Jorge. Much imagination was used in the process of writing this blog. Happy Reading! After our marathon drive, we stopped for a couple of days and...

Food for Thought, July 2022

These little patties are nourishing and filling. You can have them with a hearty salad, drizzled with lemon juice. Or, you could dip them in a bowl of hummus

Celebrating the Tropics!

Today, the tropical region is facing several challenges. Countries in this area are generally the most affected by climate change. Deforestation, logging, poaching, and rapid urbanization are other examples.

Ask me (almost) anything, June 2022

Looking after our precious resources of soil and water is a key goal for our Global Tree Initiative (GTI) community. Being good, wise managers of our precious resources is part of the GTI story.

Mewsings from Jorge, June 2022

This is post 2 of a 3-part travel series from Jorge. Much imagination was used in the process of writing this blog. Enjoy!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter. Stay tuned to all our news. There is more to come.

You have Successfully Subscribed!