What would you say if I asked: what has supported humanity more than anything else? Science? Religion? Agriculture? How about trees?
These silent giants stand among us with an unassuming beauty that we often forget. They’ve provided materials to build civilisations. They drop fruits for sustenance and even inspire scientific theories.
Although 30% of the world’s land is populated by forests, it’s declining at a suffocating rate. An area twice the size of France has been lost since 1990. What’s more worrying is that decline is on the rise.
100 trees every 100 days
In a bid to help combat this, Alamy has partnered with Tree-Nation with a mission to plant 100 trees every 100 days. Tree-Nation was founded in 2006 by Maxime Renaudin and they’ve worked with thousands of businesses to reforest the world. So far, they’ve managed to plant nearly 8 million trees and reforested over 4 million hectares of land. That’s an area the size of Switzerland!
As of 18 March 2021, Alamy has planted 101 trees: 100 in Madagascar, and 1 lonely little tree in Nepal. Don’t worry, the solitary tree in Nepal will be getting some friends soon. And together, they’ve captured 4.3 tonnes of CO2. For context, cars produce about 2.4kg of CO2 per litre of fuel burnt. So we plan on planting many more trees.
The Eden Project
But reforestation isn’t just about carbon capture. We contribute to the Eden Project at Tree-Nation, which is looking to reverse the damage caused by the loss of mangroves and upland forests in Madagascar. Mangroves are extremely important plants. Not only to they provide a secure breeding ground for birds, fish and invertebrates, they also provide protection from waves, storms and predators.
So far, the Eden Project has planted over 407 million mangrove and dry deciduous trees in northwest Madagascar. It’s fascinating reading and understanding how Tree-Nation goes about the reforestation process and the different planting methods they use to ensure maximum success.
The world’s ecosystems can be extremely fragile. Deforestation has all kind of negative effects from reduced biodiversity to increased global warming. Breaking down any one part of an ecosystem has a domino effect on all other constituent parts. It’s one of the reasons why plants and insects are revered features of an ecosystem due to their pivotal position in the food chain and ecological processes.
We plan to donate and work with Tree-Nation for a long time as we try to offset the greenhouse gases we produce as a business and to help reforest the world. In the words of Bob Ross, we love a happy little tree. But instead of painting them, let’s plant them.