You often hear saddening statistics about the rate of deforestation from ecologically-minded friends and the news, but how often do you hear about the good that is being carried out to reverse environmental damage? Not as often, that’s for sure.
Therefore relish this news story, which features more than 45,000 people coming together to set the Guinness World Record for single-day reforestation efforts.
As stated by Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, “Ecuador broke a world record for reforestation Saturday, as thousands of people pitched in to plant 647,250 trees of more than 200 species.”
On May 16, 2015, thousands of people gathered to volunteer and reforest the Earth. They planted 220 different species of flora on almost 5,000 acres of land, setting a new Guinness World Record.
As Ecuador has set a national target to conserve and restore more land than what is deforested between 2008 and 2017, such a project will no doubt help the country maintain its vision.
As noted by the country’s environment department, since 2008, deforestation has been reduced by more than 50% of the historical rate, protecting 4.3% of the total land area (which equates to about 840 million trees).
Because trees are vital to the environment (think of them like the lungs of our Earth – purifying the air that keeps us – and all of nature – alive), reforestation helps offset the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through “carbon sequestration.”
Basically, there are two approaches to reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere: the first is by reducing the amount of emissions being produced, and the second is sequestration, which deals with the carbon itself.
As trees absorb carbon dioxide for fuel by pulling it from the atmosphere, reduce soil erosion, improve air and water quality, and protect wildlife habitats, they are definitely a natural resource to be treasured.
Interestingly enough, Ecuador holds another world record for the most plastic bottles recycled in one week, according to Guinness. Go Ecuador!