The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO, 2011) estimates global average deforestation rates to be 167,000 ha per annum or 0.33% of total forest cover between 2000 and 2010. In Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, deforestation poses a major threat and has been connected to a host of socio-economic and socio-ecological issues such as erosion, loss of agricultural land, food insecurity, changes in weather patterns and a paucity of cooking fuel.
As the climate warms and the population increases, forests will have a central role to play in human survival. If predictions prove correct, the world will need to shelter, feed, clothe and provide livelihoods for another two billion people by 2050. Concurrently, the World Bank estimates that world temperatures are likely to rise by 4 degrees Celsius this century, impacting water availability, agriculture, and severe weather events.
Forests serve as a natural safety net in livelihood resilience for communities during times of famine or scarcity. They provide fruits, leaves, gum, nuts, timber and wood for fuel. Forests feed people and the animals they might depend on for trade or meals when crops fail. This quality is particularly important in the face of climate change and rapid population growth. Learn more about the essential ecosystem services provided by forests below.
Forest Ecosystem Services
Forests provide a safety-net for our uncertain future.
By 2025, two-thirds of all nations will confront water supply stress. Indigenous forests assist in the regulation of water regimes by intercepting rainfall and regulating its flow through the hydrological system. Forests are intimately involved with the water cycle, create moisture-rich microclimates and increase groundwater levels.
Trees create oxygen, which we need to breathe. They also clean the air by absorbing pollutant gases and filtering out particulates. Forests, particularly those in sub-tropical regions, truly are the lungs of the Earth.
Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. These ecosystems are complex webs of organisms that include plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. The forest canopy and floor provide seasonal foraging for countless vertebrates and invertebrates, some of which are yet to be discovered.
Soil Protection & Production
Forests are essential for fertile soil protection and production. Forest ecosystems assist in degrading organic matter into new healthy soil, creating shaded environments, and providing strong root systems which help keep it in place and prevent erosion.
Our Reforestation Projects
Learn more and get involved!
Since 2012, Greenpop has been planting tens of thousands of trees to restore Africa’s southernmost forest.
Since 2014, Greenpop has been working to restore the habitat of the Cape Parrot in the Amatole mountains.
We provide support for external individuals and organisations who run small-scale reforestation projects.
Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.