Supporting Reforestation: Saving Ourselves & Our Planet

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Taste For Life proudly hosts blogs from some of the top nutritionists and life coaches in the country. Opinions expressed by the author are their own, and do not necessarily represent those of Taste For Life or its editorial staff. For questions about this blog or its content, please contact Dana Cutolo.

Globally, our rainforests are at risk due to deforestation, extraction and climate change. There are many forces that lead to deforestation such as poverty (using trees for cooking fires, and building), extraction of resources for sale (foods like superfoods, wood products, animals, oils like palm oil, medicinally valuable plants, etc.), and climate change (some plants are now unable to survive in their original region).

The Importance of Rainforest Conservation

There are many reasons we are now losing our critical rainforests. Endless and careless extraction of resources is a the biggest and most devastating cause. A lot of the products that we use in our country come from rainforests, such as rubber, coffee and rain forest woods.

Tropical rainforests are believed to be the oldest and most complex land-based ecosystem on earth, containing over 30 million species of plants and animals. That's half of the Earth's wildlife and at least two-thirds of it's plants.

Because most tropical rainforest grows in warm and steamy environments, it contains a huge variety of plants. One hectare of lowland rainforest may contain 1000 trees with up to 300 species.

Protecting Our Rainforests Equals Protecting Earth's Resources

There are many reasons rainforests are important - but mostly because they are home to most of our earths species of plants and animals, they filter earths water and air while regulating our global climate, the provide us with life saving medicines derived from plant compounds (think about the vast number of plants going extinct, how many of those could have been a cure for our major diseases?), and lastly they prevent soil erosion.

The key to human life is in the protection of our resources. Everyone can agree with this - despite what your views are - we MUST protect our rainforests; whether you look at it as protecting our global assets, or you have an innate love and respect for nature.

How to Support Reforestation & Conservation

Choosing our products wisely and generally understanding the impact we face if we lose our rainforests can help us mitigate deforestation. Each of us needs to be thoughtful about the way we consume these products, and support companies and programs that make a commitment to better environmental practices

Planting and raising trees! In order to combat the loss we must replant. Reforestation initiatives are extremely important to our earth.

Rainforest Sustainability, Reforestation & Conservation Resources

Are you are wondering just how you can make a difference? Here are some amazing organizations you can support that are reviving, restoring, protecting our rainforests (as well as other vital ecosystems) and spreading education.


Centre ValBio

Centre ValBio works to protect Madagascar’s unique and biologically diverse ecosystems through conservation science and projects that directly benefit the local people, including rural health care delivery. CVB has a world-class research station sited on the edge of Madagascar's beautiful and abundant Ranomafana National Park. Under the direction of world-renowned primatologist Patricia Wright, Centre ValBio facilitates hands-on science to sustain the resources and people of Madagascar. In collaboration with villagers, we're expanding the frontiers of knowledge while safeguarding biodiversity for future generations.

https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/centre-valbio/


Reforest Hawai'i

Our Mission is to plant endemic Hawaiian plants and trees that will live out their lives in a native Hawaiian forest.

Our Goal is to encourage others to help revive, replenish, restore, reconnect, and reaffirm people with the native Hawaiian forests by reforesting with endemic Hawaiian plants and trees. We offer individuals and groups the opportunity to sponsor endemic plants and trees that will never be cut or harvested.

Each plant and tree will receive GPS coordinates that will allow the sponsor to locate their tree on Hawai`i Island.

https://reforesthawaii.org/


Reforest'Action

Reforest'Action is committed to the municipality of Fokontany d'Ambatobe and the association Génération Masoala, for the establishment of a community nursery. The latter is supported by 3 trained nurserymen and volunteers. The production is open to local inhabitants who invest themselves to produce plants with a varied future. Some of the trees such as intsia and rami be will be planted in plots to be reforested, while other species will be planted among the inhabitants to produce fruit and contribute to the development of agroforestry.

https://www.reforestaction.com/en/reforestation-madagascar


Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures develops transformative approaches for catalysing and sustaining locally led marine conservation. We work in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies, and are committed to protecting marine biodiversity in ways that benefit coastal people.

https://blueventures.org/conservation/


Eden Reforestation

At Eden Reforestation Projects we have a holistic approach to reforestation and ecological restoration.

  • Our national leaders partner with villages that are committed to restoring their forests.
  • We then hire and train local villagers to plant new trees.
  • They plant native tree species.
  • The villages protect their new forests because they have a vested interest in them.
  • Top tier seedling survival rate – over 80%. Even higher when natural generation is factored in.

Villages Manage Our Nurseries & Planting Sites

We start by hiring the local villagers to plant trees. This gives them a consistent income so they can provide for their families again. As the reforestation effort goes on, healthy forests begin to emerge and the negative effects of deforestation begin to disappear.

https://edenprojects.org/


Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership

Working with the local communities to help restore and protect Madagascar's remaining forests and diverse wildlife.

https://madagascarpartnership.org/

Contributor: 

Dana Cutolo

Dana Cutolo is an herbalist, esthetician and conservation biologist focused on sustainable beauty + wellness. While working in the field, she saw the devastating effects of deforestation first hand, and realized that our decisions as consumers are incredibly impactful; so, she created Ny’Ala as a way to offer a clean and sustainable products and a way to contribute to reforestation.