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Native tree planting will help save the planet

Te Anau – A native tree should be planted in New Zealand for every birth and every death instead of a tombstone, to help climate change.

Reforestation projects supports and protect habitats, reduces carbon and helps local economies. Old growth forests are massive carbon sinks, and it can take hundreds of years for them to fully recover.

Deforestation causes almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as global road travel.

Forests are not only complex ecosystems and habitats for wildlife, but they are central to the livelihoods of around two billion people globally for work, food, shelter and water.

Aotearoa has about 1.66 million hectares of planted production forest and by international comparison, New Zealand has about a third of its land area legally protected for conservation purposes. The country has more than 10,000 protected areas, covering more than 8.6 million hectares.

New Zealand’s native forests have economic, environmental, cultural and recreational value and support plant, insects and birds’ ecosystems.

Although most of New Zealand’s native bush and forests are on conservation land, a significant portion is privately-owned.

Globally, the critical role trees have in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere has led to many international reforestation projects. There are around 60,000 tree species in the world.

Planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the global climate crisis, according to scientists.

As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating.

New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions from human activities that remain in the atmosphere today.

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