Corporate mass tree planting ‘damaging’ nature

Steffan Messenger in BBC:

Prof Crowther, who grew up in Prestatyn, Flintshire, is a professor of ecosystem ecology at ETH Zurich University in Switzerland and also chairs an advisory board for the United Nations on nature restoration. He warned blanket planting of trees was “hugely threatening”. “This is not about offsetting your guilt, that would be an absolutely devastating step for climate change,” he said. Speaking at COP26 in Glasgow, Prof Crowther said the loss of biodiversity was arguably a bigger threat to the planet than climate change. “If we save the climate but we lose nature that’s still an unliveable planet,” said the scientist, who studied at Cardiff University. He said it had become increasingly clear that efforts to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees depended on doing much more to restore the natural world.

Prof Crowther’s post-doctoral research made headlines when it estimated there were approximately 3.04 trillion trees on Earth – 46% fewer than at the onset of agriculture about 12,000 years ago. It sparked the Trillion Tree campaign which is being “very prominently discussed” at COP26. Although Prof Crowther emphasised it was important people “understand that we’re not just talking about planting trees”. “In the vast majority of cases, what we’re really going to be doing is protecting large areas of land, we need to protect a third of the land surface so that nature can recover and naturally grow,” he added.

More here.