Every tree, anywhere in the world, filters about 10 kilograms of CO2 (carbon dioxide) per year out of our atmosphere. Every single gram counteracts global warming. Every forest compensates for temperature fluctuations and increases atmospheric humidity. Large forested areas in the vicinity of cities have a positive effect on air quality. Forests filter out dust, soot and gaseous contaminants from the atmosphere. This makes it possible for cool, purified air to flow back into the the environment.
TREES HELP TO PRODUCE OUR DRINKING WATER
- The leaves of trees catch water in the form of rain drops. This water evaporates leading to cloud formation which results in new precipitation in other locations.
Each year, approximately 40% of our rain is produced in this way.
- Per day a single large tree is capable of transferring as much as 370 liters of water from the soil and emitting this moisture into the atmosphere.
- The forest is a giant biological filter. It purifies water percolating through the soil on the way to streams and springs and provides purified groundwater. For the drinking water we need each day: rich in oxygen, filtered and clean.
TREES PROTECT US AGAINST NATURAL CATASTROPHES
Forests fulfill protective functions that are very important for people and for the environment.
- In forests, precipitation does not simply run off as surface water leading then to soil erpsion, but instead sinks almost completely into the ground. With the help of humus, a nutrient-rich layer of soil full of root channels and animal passages, the forest soil can absorb the large quantities of water that come during prolonged periods of rain or from meltwater. In this way, forests protect us from flooding.
- The forest’s widely spread network of roots secures the soil and protects it against landslides.
- The water that has been absorbed in these underground networks can be stored for long periods so that even during prolonged dry spells there is a sufficient supply of water for rivers, streams, springs and groundwater.
FORESTS HELP PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE TO BUILD A FUTURE
- Forest means shade, improves the micro- and macro climate, promotes precipitation and provides pleasant coolness.
- For us humans, forests are essential for survival. Millions of people cultivate their fields in the shade of the trees.
- Without the protection of the trees, the grain would be at the mercy of the wind and could hardly thrive due to high temperatures and too little moisture in some places.
FORESTS PROVIDE FOR BIODIVERSITY ON OUR PLANET
- In addition to the oceans, forests are the home of the highest number of plant and animal species and thus are among the most productive and valuable natural habitats.
- As natural ecosystems they serve to stabilize the diversity of animal and plant species and to allow this diversity to grow. Forests provide an irreplaceable type of biosphere.
FORESTS ARE ISLANDS OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY
The Japanese have an expression: “Shinrin-yoku” – which means “forest bathing”. Even if this term is unfamiliar to us in Europe, we understand immediately what it describes. Not swimming in a forest lake, but breathing in the healthy forest air!
Lots of people find a walk through the woods to be the best sort of recreation, when they can enjoy the peace and quiet, the fresh forest smells and the views the forest provides in the different seasons. The positive effects of the forest on our health are unmistakable. In the forest we breathe in 99% percent fewer dust particles in air that is enriched with essential oils and a high percentage of oxygen. Time spent in the forest is regenerative and has direct effects on our personal health and performance.