Forests: 5 reasons to grow one

5 reasons to grow forests

It’s pretty clear we have not been using our natural forest resources wisely. Over half the world’s forest are already gone and if we continue –  business as usual –  and do nothing about this, then forest loss is predicted to reach an incredible 232 million hectares. Here are five reason why we should get planting.

1.  FOrests are THE EARTH’S LUNGS

Forests take in carbon dioxide and ‘exhale’ oxygen. This may be a complex biological process, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it is rather important for us oxygen-breathing beings. Saving forest means saving clean breathable air. Equally when they burn we get ‘dirty’ air in the form of haze pollution.

2. Forests ‘inhale’ carbon dioxide

Forests and other plants soak up carbon dioxide, a major driver of climate change and store it away as carbon. Tropical forests alone hold more than 210 gigatons of carbon – 7 times the amount emitted each year by human activities.  The reverse is also true. Deforestation releases more carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere than our entire global transport system – all the planes, trains and cars put together.


3. the missing link in climate action?

Right now, despite the commitments from nations as part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change we are still headed for 3°C warming and scientists tell us that only an upper limit of1.5 °C will save us from the worst effects of climate change – sea level rises, coral bleaching, droughts, heatwaves. The Paris Agreement recognises that forest can play a huge part in filling that emissions gap because properly protected and managed forests efficiently capture greenhouse gases like CO2.

4. home for wildlife

A square kilometre of forest can be home to more than a 1000 species and is crucial for the conservation of wildlife,  like the orangutan and tiger. In Sumatra 55% of the forest has already been cleared, mostly to make way for agricultural plantation to grow things we consume. If the Sumatran tiger and other critically endangered species are to  side-step extinction we need to replant forest to provide them with a home.

Find out how you can start growing your own forest in Sumatra here

Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) walking.
Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) walking.

5. Forests give us FREE SERVICES

300 million people worldwide live in forest – 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. Forests play a role in all our lives, providing us with many of the essentials we use everyday – tissue, paper, furniture. Plus there are the free ecosystem services like protecting our watersheds, and enriching soil. And let’s not forget the enjoyment forests give to those of us lucky enough to live near one – a value can’t be placed on the experience of spending time inside a beautiful, shady forest.

What can you do?
  • Find out how you can plant a tree in Sumatra’s Aceh Province here
  • Start growing your own forest here 
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  • Tina Dass, May 5, 2016 @ 12:19 pm Reply

    I already bought 1 tree in Sumatra. When will it be planted ? =)

    • Louise Wood, May 6, 2016 @ 2:29 am Reply

      Hi Tina – thanks so much, you are already helping to regrow important forest in Sumatra. The exciting news is your tree has already been planted! Expect a photo and map of your tree to hit your inbox middle of next week. We so appreciate your support, Tina.

  • Anita Rios, May 18, 2016 @ 7:15 am Reply

    Hi there,
    My company and colleagues have planted trees – total of 27 trees. When or where do we see our trees? Please provide a link by email to

    Thank you,
    Anita Rios

    • Louise Wood, May 25, 2016 @ 9:01 am Reply

      Hi Anita, Apologies for slow reply, I have been on leave. Usually you will get notification of your trees in Sumatra ( a photo and coordinates) within 4 weeks of making your donation. If it is within that time frame and you have not heard anything please let me know and I will follow that up. In addition WWF-Singapore will be inviting you to a tree-planting in a nature reserve in Singapore on the morning of 24th June, our corporate relations manager will be in touch next week to finalise the details with you. Because the planting is in a nature reserve unfortunately you can only bring a maximum of 3 people for the planting. As I say, more details to come, but feel free to contact us with any questions. Thanks so much for all your support. Louise

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