Trees – the simplest, low-cost, low-tech solution for carbon sequestration. Afforestation is the practice of creating new forests where there were none before.

By strategically developing planted forests (aka tree plantations), we can reduce the harvest of natural forest lands (i.e. the Amazon and others).

Below are some of the benefits of afforestation:

Carbon Synthesis and Sequestration

Trees use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis (making their own energy) – they absorb our emissions (CO2) and convert it to oxygen for us to breathe. Talk about a symbiotic relationship!

Erosion Control

The elaborate root systems of trees are excellent at stabilizing slopes in areas with high potential for erosion, including former mining lands, islands and coastal regions.

Job Creation

Well-designed tree plantations with inclusive management practices (such as those promoted by the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Forest Stewardship Council) can provide stable jobs for the surrounding communities.

Medicine

Did you know that many of the prescription drugs we use come from the natural world? You might be surprised to know that the active ingredients in birth control pills were developed from wild yams in Mexico and Guatemala. Researchers are constantly discovering new medical breakthroughs in the rich bio-diverse forests. Let’s make sure those natural pharmacies continue to produce cures for generations to come!

Actions You Can Take Today:

  • Support the World Wild Fund for Nature and their work with forest conservation
  • Check out Afforestt and learn how to create your own backyard forest

Related LEED® v4 Credits:

  • LEED BD+C, SSc Site Development – Protect or Restore Habitat (1-2 pts)
  • LEED BD+C, SSc Open Space (1 pt)
  • LEED BD+C, MRc Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Sourcing of Raw Materials, Option 2: Leadership Extraction Practices (1 pt)