Trees planted using a system that mimics nature
Forest loss threatens the existence of thousands of species that live in the forest, including those on the brink of extinction. Continuous forest cover is critical to protecting large mammal ranges and migration routes and safeguarding the biological integrity of the forest's many different ecosystems. Research published in Nature magazine concluded that deforestation represents roughly 10 percent of gross carbon emissions. Not only does deforestation directly contribute to global climate change, but it also jeopardizes water security by causing severe drought that further diminishes rainfall, humidity, and soil quality thereby threatening communities’ livelihoods.
Tropical belt deforestation has ripple effects across the planet. However, people living in rural rainforest communities feel the effects of deforestation and climate change first and most acutely – and to potentially devastating outcomes. In Cambodia, where Wildlife Alliance focuses its current fieldwork, almost 80% of the population lives in rural areas, nearly all of whom work as subsistence farmers, making their food security dependent on natural resources and weather patterns. It is vital that these natural resources be managed sustainably and fairly.
Since 2001, Wildlife Alliance has preserved 1.7 million acres of forestland and planted over 770,000 trees. The seeds of indigenous trees are collected from “mother trees” in the surrounding forest, sewn and cultivated at the nursery and replanted in several depressed forest areas throughout the Southern Cardamoms. The soil is first enriched to compensate for the lack of organic content and low pH. Indigenous trees are then planted using a unique method that recreates forest diversity by taking into account tree varieties and sizes. The project also maintains 1,811 acres of planted trees, by removing invasive weeds, and planting fibrous grass to provide soil coverage and prevent erosion during heavy rains. By using a system that mimics natural growth through current agricultural methods, the Tropical Reforestation Project provides critical ecosystem services such as water storage, carbon absorption, ground cover, erosion prevention, and a variety of habitats for birds, mammals, and other wildlife.
Be part of the movement, and help Wildlife Alliance reconnect fragmented habitat, mitigate climate change and preserve an important watershed.
99 species of native trees have been catalogued