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A landmark State of the World's Trees report (click to download), published by Botanic Gardens Conservation International, has described the significant global threats to trees and forests in 2021. This reports that:  30% of tree species are at risk of extinction (that is, 17.5k of a total of 60k species). 440 species are on the brink of extinction with fewer than 50 individuals left in the wild. Greatest threats are from agriculture and grazing, logging and harvesting, and with climate change an increasing threat. Countries with the highest risk are (in order) Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Colombia and Venezuela. Particular threats on islands, such as Madagascar, where tree species are often unique. Case study on Borneo where the expansion of oil palm plantations is a major threat to the keystone Dipterocarpaceae species, leading to the sharp decline population of Bornean Orangutans. What you can do to help? Find ways to support diverse tree planting

2020 was the third worst year for forest destruction since 2002 (when comparable monitoring began), according to data from the University of Maryland and the online monitoring platform Global Forest Watch. The report complied by the World Resources Institute (www.wri.org) notes in particular severe losses in species-rich humid tropical primary forests, such as the Amazon, the Congo and south-east Asia. From this forest type alone loses amounted to 4.2 million hectares - an area the size of the Netherlands. Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/31/destruction-of-worlds-forests-increased-sharply-in-2020-loss-tree-cover-tropical

"Carbon offsetting" sounds great: continue to use fossil fuels and simply "balance out" the carbon emissions by planting trees and protecting forests. Business as usual. No wonder that airlines and oil companies love talking about them! Problem solved, right? Wrong. Carbon offsetting projects using trees and forests simply don't deliver what they promise, and worse, they're a distraction from the real solution to climate change - that is, a real reduction in carbon emissions entering the atmosphere. Carbon offsetting schemes are simply public-relation schemes for increasingly eco-conscious consumers, and shift the focus off carbon-polluting industries. Here's the problem. Carbon in fossil fuels is "fixed" underground for the long term whereas the carbon in vegetation is in a constant carbon cycle. Using fossil fuels releases more carbon into the atmosphere which can be used by trees, *but* when a tree dies the carbon contained in