Trianosky: “The world’s forests absorb about 2.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. And that’s equivalent to about a third of the carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels.”


That’s Paul Trianosky, chief conservation officer at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Unfortunately, forests – these amazing sponges that soak up carbon – are increasingly vulnerable to insects and disease as the climate changes. Warmer temperatures, changes in rainfall, and droughts all take a toll.

Preventing deforestation and restoring damaged forests are therefore more critical than ever. Trianosky says sustainable forest management is also key.

Paul Trianosky
Paul Trianosky

Thinning forests can prevent overcrowding and reduce disease, and prescribed burns can support healthy forests by clearing out excessive underbrush and allowing native vegetation to grow back.

By protecting trees and forests, we can help reduce global warming. And that’s not all.

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Trianosky: “Forests contribute to the benefits and values that we all care about every day – things like clean water and clean air, wildlife habitat, and just quality of life – all of those things are contributed to by well-managed and healthy forests.”

Reporting credit: Peter Bresnan/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo credits: Paul Trianosky photo courtesy of Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.; Rainforest photo (copyright protected).

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Lisa Palmer is a freelance journalist and a fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, in Annapolis, Md. Her writing covers the environment, energy, food security, agriculture,...