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Resource Library

Articles and links with valuable information about tree planting and tropical reforestation.

Introduction: The Decline of the Great Forests

Over the last several millennia, more than half of the world’s forests have disappeared. Where forests have returned, instead of the once great trees, there are slender saplings and small trees. Almost everywhere the forest biomass is greatly reduced from historic levels. Across America roughly 3% of the original ancient forests remain....

“Who needs a tree? What good are they, anyway?”

I will never forget those simple, yet penetrating, questions asked by a young New York cab driver one Monday morning. The question startled and amazed me. I thought to myself, that question would never even enter the minds of people in Haiti, Ethiopia, Nepal, or Brazil. Ask anyone from these countries and you will get a similar reply, “Trees make the difference between living and dying -- they are food and they provide water. Without trees, there is no rain; without rain, there is no water; without water, our crops die and without crops, we die. Without wood, we cannot cook our food or heat our water. Without trees, we would burn up because they are our only shade.” If you asked an Indian in Ecuador or Brazil about the need for trees they will tell you they are storehouses for their food and medicines...

As servants of the Church of Tarahumara, we are deeply concerned and angered at the way the forests of the Sierra Madre in the State of Chihuahua have been destroyed throughout the Twentieth Century, and especially following the ratification of NAFTA. This exploitation has brought virtually no benefits for the majority of mestizo and indigenous inhabitants...

Religious leaders from around the world met for the first time with conservationists and scientists in Norway this week to develop the ethical case for protecting tropical forests.

“There is a dimension to this fight that will require a global, tectonic shift in values,” said Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment. “It is not the realm of policy, commerce or science, but of spirit, faith and moral conviction...."

The Meaning and Message of Forests and Trees in the Christian Tradition

“ Whoever does not love trees, does not love God.”  This was the teaching of the renowned Greek Orthodox monk, Elder Amphilochios of Patmos (1888-1970).

According to Orthodox scholar Bishop Kallistos Ware, Fr. Amphilochios was an ecologist long before environmental concern became fashionable. "Do you know," the elder said, "that God gave us one more commandment, which is not recorded in Scripture? It is the commandment, “ Love the trees .” When you plant a tree, you plant hope, you plant peace, you plant love, and you will receive God's blessing..."

Building a green economy could stop ‘nightmare’ degradation of Amazon

The Amazon will be transformed into a “highly degraded nightmare” unless a sustainable biodiversity-based economy develops which properly values ecosystem services and products produced by the rainforest, a leading scientist has warned.

Prof Thomas Lovejoy, the “godfather of biodiversity”, said if agro-industrial economic developments such as cattle farming, palm oil production and mining continue, the rainforest’s hydrological cycle will be “in tatters”, with global weather systems severely disrupted.


Turning this around will require an innovative green economy which monetises the food, medicines, aquaculture and climate regulation the forest provides...

'Frightening' new data reveals humanity's destruction of the world's rainforests

New data from a Norwegian nonprofit is generating fresh concerns about humanity's destruction of the natural world, revealing Monday that people have ravaged about two-thirds of the original tropical rainforest cover globally.

The Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) analysis found that human activities including logging and land-use changes—often for farming—have destroyed 34% of old-growth tropical rainforests and degraded 30% worldwide.


RFN defined degraded forests as those that are partly destroyed or fully wiped out but replaced by more recent growth. The group's definition for intact forest, considered too strict by some experts, includes only areas that are at least 500 square kilometers or 193 square miles; trees and biodiversity are at greater risk in smaller zones.....

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