Plant a Native Tree for #CallToEarthDay 2021
On November 10, 2021, the world’s first ‘Call to Earth Day’ will be launched by CNN. This is an initiative dedicated to conservation, environmentalism and sustainability and as individuals we can all make a difference. To be involved, all you have to do is to initiate something positive to protect the environment for ourselves and our future generations. As a leader in forest conservation in Bandhavgarh, northeast India, Tigers4Ever is supporting Call to Earth Day by encouraging you to plant a native tree or shrub in your area. Trees support all life on earth but are being destroyed at life-critical rates. For example, in the USA, because of impacts like wind damage, tree diseases, and forest fires, many forests have become at risk of deforestation.
How to choose your tree or shrub
To choose what to plant, take a look around you. Look at your backyard/garden or other gardens/parks and forests near you to see what is growing well. You could also talk to local organisations such as The Woodland Trust (UK) to find out about the most important native trees in your area. If you have permission, you may be able to plant in a community space or selected conservation areas. Perhaps you could gather friends, family and colleagues to join in too. There is also a wealth of information online if you want to find out more about different tree species suitable for US and UK environments. For example, in the UK you might choose rowan, hawthorn, holly, hazel, cherry or willow for a small to medium garden; or silver birch, horse-chestnut, oak or sycamore for large spaces. In India, choices could be Neem (Azadirachta indica); Mahua (Madhuca indica); Arjun (Terminalia arjuna); and Babul (Acacia nilotica) or teak (Tectona grandis). The only criteria is that your trees must be native to your area and wildlife-friendly – providing food and/or shelter.
Create a sense of purpose
Why not plant a tree in honour of someone special, a favourite pet, or to commemorate a significant cause or life event? You could even dedicate your tree to a wild tiger you have seen in the wild or on a documentary. In future, when you look at the tree you will think of this special person, memory or cause.
Why are trees important to the environment?
Trees help to clean the air we breathe, absorbing polluting gases such as nitrogen oxides, ozone and carbon monoxide and sweeping up dust and smoke. They filter the water we drink and slow rainwater from reaching the ground too quickly, lessening the likelihood of floods and landslides. They also provide habitat for over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. A single tree can provide a home to hundreds of species. What’s more, forests provide jobs for over 1.6 billion people. The United Nations says that the world has lost 100 million hectares of forest over two decades (2000-2020) and more than a quarter of species are now threatened with extinction. This is not good news for human survival as all species contribute to sustaining life on earth. Tigers4Ever has previously warned that ‘A world without tigers would be like a world without trees – our own survival would be threatened’ (Tigers4Ever, July 2021).This is because tigers are apex predators that are essential for the health and survival of biodiversity in an interconnected ecosystem. But tigers themselves cannot survive without the forests that provide their natural habitat and this is the same for wildlife near you.
Share the know-how with our tree facts
Here are some tree facts that you could share with your friends, children, colleagues to encourage them to plant a tree:
- The world is home to over 60,000 different tree species.
- Trees provide clean air, water, biodiversity, social wellbeing, health remedies and regulate our climate.
- Every 1.2 seconds, somewhere in the world we lose a forest the size of a football field.
- 46% of the world’s forests are already destroyed.
- 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation.
- Removing trees removes the leaf canopy that shades land during the day from scorching and locks in heat at night. This causes higher temperature fluctuation which contributes to extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and fires.
- The US has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.
- 28000 species are expected to become extinct in the next 25 years due to deforestation.
- The new high speed rail being built in the UK is threatening 108 ancient woodlands.
- 48lbs of carbon dioxide is sequestered by a mature tree every year.
- Australia has lost 27% of its rainforest, 19% of open forest, 11% of woodland forest and 28% of mallee forest since 1750.
But there is good news too. Many organisations are connected indirectly or directly to reforestation projects. For example, Eden Reforestation Projects, supported by organisations around the globe, has now planted nearly 700 million trees in 8 countries, creating employment, habitat and life. The 10,000 trees initiative, #10000trees, seeks to improve dignity, safety, and prosperity in urban environments. By gaining local community involvement such as in your area, the aim is to improve the livability and vitality of participating neighbourhoods. The purpose goes well beyond ecology and aims to transform the urban environment improving health and wellbeing for all. The Woodland Trust in the UK has planted 50 million trees since 1972, saved 1172 woodlands and has restored 34,000 hectares of ancient woodland. They also continue to offer free trees to schools and communities in the UK. Tigers4Ever continues to improve tiger habitat in Bandhavgarh through tree planting, forest protection and conservation education for children in schools across 25 villages.
How to join us in planting trees
By planting a tree you can be sure of contributing to at least one of the following, wherever you are in the world:
- Supporting wildlife
- Combating climate change
- Restoring wildfire sites
- Benefiting the health and wellbeing of your local community.
- Plant your native tree or shrub and share a photo of your ‘planting ceremony’ on social media using #10000Trees and #CallToEarth.
- Tell us who you have dedicated your tree to or what has inspired you to plant your tree and send a picture/video to our social media channels so we can share your commitment.
- Tigers4Ever will try to collate as many photos as possible for a montage to support Call to Earth Day on 10 November 2021. If you prefer us not to show your photos in the montage then please do let us know (either in your social media message or by emailing us at: Contactus@Tigers4Ever.org with the subject line ‘10000 Trees’.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!Tigers4Ever, a UK-based conservation charity, has reduced wild tiger deaths by 97% and improved people’s lives in and around Bandhavgarh National Park, India since 2010.