The destruction of the world’s forests not only harms the
communities that depend on them, it increasingly affects us all. Trees matter to all of us
because they help mitigate global
climate change. Land without trees is more vulnerable to both floods and drought. What’s more,
deforestation and climate change are intimately connected. Each year, deforestation releases
some two billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the greenhouse gases that is key to the
earth’s warming. This represents nearly 25 percent of manmade emissions of CO2.Fewer trees mean
that more CO2 escapes into the earth’s atmosphere and prevents heat from escaping into space.
Conversely, more trees reduce CO2 emissions, thus helping to lower the earth’s temperature. Our
simple plan for reducing human impact on the atmosphere is to reduce CO2 emissions as much as
possible by discouraging deforestation, and to help absorb manmade CO2 by planting more trees in
Trees for the Future have helped thousands of communities in
Central America, Africa, and Asia improve their earning capacity and restore the environment by
planting nearly 65 million trees. In the United States, we educate students and communities
about the role of trees in the environment, energy efficiency, and other global issues.