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Why Forests Matter

Climate Change

Tropical forests are beautiful, rich, and diverse… and store millions of tons of carbon. That means we can’t stop climate change without saving tropical forests.

Read on below to find out why.

How forests stop climate change, and keep the planet cool

Did you know that worldwide, forests store more carbon than the atmosphere?

That’s right. And this incredible capacity is not just because trees store carbon in their trunks, leaves, and roots. It’s because a forest is far more than just a bunch of trees: it’s wildlife, plants, insects, other living things, and even dead trees and animals.

All of these work together to enrich the soil and the ecosystem. Together, they make the forest much more than the sum of its parts. That’s why forest soils often store as much carbon as the trees themselves!

And that’s not all. Research has shown that carbon storage is much lower in managed forests, or in plantations, compared to natural forests. But at least a managed forest or a plantation still has trees standing! Imagine what would happen without it.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly where we’re headed.

The dire state of deforestation

Deforestation emits 3 billion tonnes of carbon a year on average – more than all cars and trucks on the planet combined. Over the last two years, we’ve been losing 40 football fields of tropical forests every minute.

But this means that if we can stop tropical deforestation, we can stop a lot of these emissions. It’s especially important right now, because we’re not doing nearly enough to stop climate change – despite the Paris Agreement, we have made very little progress in cutting emissions. Instead, we’re likely to miss our targets.

To make matters worse, not doing enough now means that we’ll have to take much more drastic action later. But we could also go past a point of no return. At that point, the planet’s natural cooling systems will stop working completely, and climate change would be too drastic to stop.

So, not only is it harder to hit our targets the later we start, but the longer we wait, the worse the impacts will be. And we’ll be much less likely to be successful. Some estimates even say we only have ~6 years left at current emissions before it will be impossible to keep warming beneath 1.5oC.

Tropical Forests: A Safety Net For Climate Change

Tropical forests can help to buy us the time we need. Ending deforestation could meet up to one-third of the short-term needs of the Paris Agreement. Because it would make a big difference very quickly, it would lower the entire world’s emissions pathway. And that gives us more room to adapt to changes as they come.

That’s why we like to call tropical forests a safety net for the climate.

And that’s why we created Stand For Trees.

As regular people, we often feel powerless waiting for policymakers and corporations to wake up. Even when they do, they move far too slowly: national and international programs to address deforestation have been in development for years. Meanwhile, we keep losing forests.

But with Stand For Trees, you don’t have to wait anymore. Our member projects each protect a threatened forest in an incredibly diverse area of the world. Because of the projects, these forests – and the carbon they contain – can protect the climate, their inhabitants, and future generations.

With Stand For Trees, you don’t have to wait anymore.

When you buy a Stand For Trees certificate, you directly support their work. And with Stand For Trees, you are not donating to a campaign – which may or may not be successful – or waiting for policy changes.

That’s because we use a verification-based model which links your purchase to a physical impact. Each certificate represents carbon dioxide prevented from entering the atmosphere, a forest protected, habitat for endangered species, and local livelihoods saved.

The world is warming. We need to act now, and we need to reduce emissions now. Saving forests is amongst the quickest and most effective ways of doing that. So if you’re asking yourself how you can help to stop either climate change or deforestation – or both – then Stand For Trees makes it easy, effective, and real. Help us save our forests now.

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