The last couple of years have seen scientists looking urgently at the best ways to deal with the climate crisis. Alongside all kinds of technical and scientific solutions, as well as behavioural ones, the realisation has steadily grown that planting trees on a massive scale could be one of the most cost-effective ways of tackling climate change. Indeed, scientists have calculated that the planting of billions of trees across the planet could actually be one of the most effective ways of slowing down climate change, regardless of cost.
Put simply, trees are incredible for storing excess carbon dioxide emissions. When trees start to grow, they also start to absorb carbon emissions and then continue to store them throughout their lifetime. According to the latest research, a massive worldwide replanting effort could possibly remove up to 2/3 of the emissions that humans have pumped into the atmosphere. The research was led by Professor Tom Crowther of the ETH University in Zurich who noted of the figures:
“This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one. What blows my mind is the scale. I thought restoration would be in the top 10, but it is overwhelmingly more powerful than all of the other climate change solutions proposed.”
He is not alone in this belief. Most scientists now believe carbon sequestration to be the most obvious way of halting, if not reversing global warming. And they agree that trees represent the best and most practical way of absorbing and storing C02 at this point in time. Furthermore, they have identified the best and most efficient trees to do this, noting that tropical hardwoods are much better at storing carbon than the softwoods that are found in the US, Europe and Russia. This is because of the higher timber density and because hardwood that grows in the tropics grows year-round and therefore absorbs carbon at a much higher rate. This compares with only 3 or 4 months of growth in the northern hemisphere.
By investing in reforestation, you are investing in a worldwide initiative that aims to restore and then maintain the correct ecological balance and allow the forests of the world to soak up some of the CO2 contributing to climate change. Not only is it an effective way to fight climate change, it also helps the local communities by providing long term employment and sustainable jobs. We work alongside local communities and NGO’s to ensure the reforestation of plantations and the sustainable use of hardwood timber from these plantations. Your investment will be part of an important and sustainable cooperation between the Forestry Commission, the local forest community and businesses such as ours which invest in sustainable teak timber.
The plantations we work with have been planned meticulously in order to combine high intensity planting of fast-growing trees for commercial purposes with the equal aim of developing, growing and maintaining a sustainable and biodiverse forest cover. As well as planting fast growing hardwood teak they are committed to 5% cover that includes local indigenous trees. This is essential in maintaining the plantation as a sustainable development for the future as trees without any commercial value are essential to the creation and maintenance of biodiverse forest cover.
Why is it essential? Because by interspersing their teak stands with local trees and plant life it allows them to grow commercially whilst still allowing for a thriving ecology under forest cover. Despite all the scientific advances we have made, there is still much to learn about biodiversity and every year we discover new (or long forgotten) benefits from the different flora and fauna that make up a forest. Before the new plantations were even started a massive baseline ecological study was made in order to identify the composition of species indigenous to the area and to ensure we could match the diversity of natural forests in Ghana. The study concentrated on 3 main groups – large mammals, birds and plants. These were identified as the best way of monitoring the ecological balance in a forest habitat.
All of this was done in conjunction with the Local Forestry Commission and according to the Forestry Commission(‘s) rules and requirements which were designed to monitor plantation establishment programmes in degraded forest reserves and work with commercial timber companies on reforestation through commercial means.