Trees, Lungs of the Planet!
Have you considered, where would we be without trees? We’ve explored the multiple benefits humans derive from trees, and wish to feed your curiosity with some facts you may have not known until now!
Today Ecotourism Australia commemorates World Environment Day (Monday, 5th June), with an end of week blast about trees, forests, and what we can do to minimise our impacts on these incredible organisms and ecosystems that surround us every day.
We invite you to consider these fascinating facts about trees, and what they do not only for us, but for the rest of life on earth. So here goes!
As we all know, trees provide us with oxygen from filtration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, in turn reducing the effects of climate change. They remove pollution from the air, improving air quality and human health.
In contribution to our overall health; trees help clean our drinking water, provide much needed cooling (lowering surface and air temperatures by providing shade), and medicine.
“More than 25% of the medicines we use originate in rainforest plants” – Greenpeace. One every day example is aspirin (salicylic acid), from willow bark (salix spp.)
Trees help us save energy (resulting in less need for air conditioning), they benefit wildlife in infinite ways, prevent soil erosion, increase nutrients in soil, help prevent flooding, are a valuable investment in public spending as we yield important benefits such as those stated, and lastly, provide building materials and wood products (Abor Day Foundation; Rewilding Britain.org – 20 amazing facts). Those are just some of the main benefits relevant to us as humans, that trees provide us daily.
Nature Tourism is popular amongst tourists, who regularly flock to Australia with the view to experience the rich biodiversity and outstanding forest ecosystems flourishing in our country.
The Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) advocates ecotourism in forests to improve public awareness of the environmental and cultural values of native forests, promote knowledge of conservation and management, augment resources for management of forest resources and provide an enhanced visitor experience.
The Queensland Government have formed a master plan for the nations parks and forests, that is leading to finalisation by the year 2025. Their vision for the future is, “Queensland’s outstanding parks and forests are protected, enjoyed and cherished now and into the future, enhancing Queenslanders’ wellbeing and prosperity.” Ecotourism has a direct role to play in ensuring the conservation of our parks and the enjoyment provided to tourists from visitation.
The Australian Government has outlined ways in which you can help give back to nature when you are exploring and connecting to the beautiful national parks and forests home to us. Some key points are:
- taking all rubbish with you
- using the paths provided only, thus not disturbing the rest of the environment
- leaving flora and fauna untouched and undisturbed
- keeping pets at home
- using toilet facilities provided
If you prefer a more hands on approach, organisations such as Conservation Volunteers Australia are always looking for active participants to support the natural environment. On Friday the 2nd of June, a Tree Planting Initiative was held in respect of World Environment Day at Daisy Hill Conservation Park. Ecotourism Australia teamed with Fun Over Fifty to participate, with two teams together planting over 600 trees in 2 hours! That’s 5 trees every minute. Over 1,800 trees were planted all together on the day. Fun Over Fifty took home the award for winning team with the most trees planted. Everyone involved made a fantastic contribution!
Trees, amongst all flora and fauna on Earth, provide vital support to all living organisms. Our connection is invaluable, and is a reminder to reconnect to nature every day.