Published in July 2019

Trees are our salvation. That’s the message from a recent scientific study.

Of course, there are lots of reasons to love trees. They are beautiful natural structures casting much-needed shade when the sun is hot. They frame views of the land around us and a well-managed woodland is a refuge for birds and animals and for those of us wanting to get out into the open air. In some places, they provide fodder for roaming wildlife and livestock. Tree roots reach deep down into the ground, stabilising fragile soils. Timber from trees can be used to build homes and provide warmth when times are cold. What’s not to like?

With seasonal rainfall trapped in the ground newly planted trees can thrive and play their part in capturing carbon and a lot more besides.

Now there is an added reason to love trees, and that’s their potential role in absorbing carbon dioxide, one of the gases that is causing worrying changes to the global landscape with the UN reporting one climate change disaster every week. Each tree is a carbon-absorbing machine. As it grows every sapling and tree captures and stores carbon. Experts now think that if enough trees are planted there could be a material impact on levels of carbon already in the atmosphere. We just need to plant enough of them. The same scientists estimate that a trillion new trees are needed to get the environmental impact that is desperately needed to help curb the serious impacts of climate change. That’s a lot of trees.

Here at Excellent, we believe in taking action, so while the number of trees that scientists say are needed is huge, we have to start somewhere. That means using sand dams to create the right conditions for trees to grow. In the very arid parts of the world where we operate, trees don’t often stand a chance. There is simply not enough water in the ground to keep a newly planted tree alive. But a functioning sand dam changes all that. With seasonal rainfall trapped in the ground newly planted trees can thrive and play their part in capturing carbon and a lot more besides.

So far Excellent has created the right environment for over a million trees to thrive. That’s some way off a trillion, but it’s a good start. 

Please donate what you can to help rural communities transform their own lives with sand dams and climate-smart farming, and ensure no one gets left behind

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