News from the Earth — trees

Air pollution cancels the benefits of outdoor physical exercise

Exercise is good for human health, but air quality typically warns against outdoor activity when particulate matter levels rise above certain levels. At what point do the dangers of air pollution outweigh the benefits of physical activity?

To find that out, researchers at the Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea conducted a country-wide study of nearly 1.5 million young adults. The study, published in the European Heart Journal, concluded that strenuous exercise in very polluted air could put young people at...


A decade to restore Nature

Over the course of the next ten years, the EU Commission promises to plant 3 billion trees for 30% of Europe’s territory – and the same proportion of its seas to become protected areas with much stricter regulations on the protection and restoration of forests. 

Springtime: an eco-friendly care for your garden

While recovering global biodiversity may seem like a daunting goal, cutting down your environmental impact and saving native ecosystems can all begin in your own yard! Tips to an eco-friendly care for your garden or flowering terrace or balcony.

International Day of Forests 21 March

The theme of the International Day of Forests for 2021 is "Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being." The restoration and sustainable management of forests help address the climate-change and biodiversity crises. It also produces goods and services for sustainable development, fostering an economic activity that creates jobs and improves lives. Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, with more than 60,000 tree species. Around 1.6 billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy, medicines and income.


Two thirds of forests have been destroyed globally

The Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) analysis found that human activities including logging and land-use changes—often for farming—have destroyed 34% of old-growth tropical rainforests and degraded 30% worldwide.

RFN defined degraded forests as those that are partly destroyed or fully wiped out but replaced by more recent growth. The group's definition for intact forest, considered too strict by some experts, includes only areas that are at least 500 square kilometers or 193 square miles; trees and biodiversity are at greater risk in smaller zones. 

Forests act as a two-lane highway in the climate system. Standing forests absorb carbon, but clearing forests releases...