Australia’s native forests are home to some of Earth’s most unique wildlife and plants, including the iconic koala and greater glider. These forests cover over 134 million hectares, equating to about 17% of Australia’s land.
But sadly, we are losing these forests at an unprecedented rate. An estimated 200,000 trees are bulldozed every day in Australia. That’s 8,000 trees every hour. Eastern Australia has been named among 24 global deforestation hotspots - the only developed nation on the list.
Continued deforestation is a major contributor to climate change. Without putting a stop to the destruction of trees, protecting remaining forests and restoring what has been lost, we risk a future of more severe droughts and climate catastrophes.
Trees are the lungs of our planet. They provide so many benefits, not only for our precious wildlife but also our community, our health and mental well-being.
This Earth Hour, take #TimeOutForNature as we reflect on the incredible benefits trees provide us and work together to protect our native forests.
Why do we need forests?
Trees are champions when it comes to multitasking and are the secret weapon when it comes to fighting climate change.
Trees make rain. They pump water from deep in the ground through the roots and trunk and out through leaves. Water vapour released from leaves lifts biological particles from leaves high into the air. Raindrops form around these, making clouds. Trees are rainmakers.
Like air conditioners, trees cool and humidify air. They slow drying winds, make oxygen, bind the soil, purify the air, cycle nutrients, build soil carbon and buffer weather extremes.
A healthy landscape is a hugely valuable asset. Healthy land is an absorbent sponge, super-storing water and carbon, balancing Earth’s climate and water cycles.
By protecting forests and trees, we can also combat drought and lessen the impact on Australia’s agricultural production.