How the Wrong Trees Are Killing the Right Trees

EucalyptusPhoto: Tatters:)

Carbon offsetting plans were originally aimed at establishing policies to limit climate change. There have been several different projects to help balance the ecosystem in the forests, including The Dutch FACE Foundation, the Bali Action Plan and REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). These plans aim to plant more trees to help offset global warning concerns. However, many of the forests’ trees have been cut down to make way for building work to house ever expanding populations.

EucalyptusPhoto: Bidgee

A carbon offset project in Ecuador involving pine and eucalyptus trees, planted in the Andean Paramo National Park, has been found to actually be damaging local biodiversity. The Dutch FACE Foundation introduced this exotic tree species in order to cut costs. After witnessing the damage to the ecosystem in Paramo, the NGO Accion Ecologica, criticized the project because the damage ultimately caused soil carbon to be released into the atmosphere, which harmed the local communities. These communities had entered into contracts with the Dutch FACE Foundation under the impression that their work would bring positive results. The certification standards specified the multiple planting of species according to the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standards. The man made planting of the new trees was not conducive to the natural state of the rainforest when compared. The newly planted trees may have been planted solely for logging purposes – and this is not a long-term benefit to the Paramo National Park.

The two processes that will work best is to pursue reforestation while avoiding deforestation. The existing trees need to be left alone instead of being cut down for other purposes, and reforestation needs to be brought in to rebuild the forest, and then the trees need to be cared for. Landowners and people in general need to be educated on forest conservation techniques. It will take a whole slew of volunteers and groups of tree planters with a commitment to save the remaining forests.