How Women and Trees Can Save the Planet
With International Women’s Day approaching, Pollyanna Darling of TreeSisters explains the vital role that women and trees can play together in mitigating climate change.
There’s only a limited time before climate extremes worldwide are so severe that all of life is endangered. Humanity is standing at a choice point that will define all our futures. This point in our evolution is the greatest opportunity any generation has ever had to completely redefine what it means to be human – to evolve from unconscious consumers into conscious restorers of the planet we all depend on.
Photo credit: Amber Chand
Women can play a vital role in helping us make this transition, using qualities traditionally considered feminine like receptivity, reflective capacity, intuition, the deep wisdom of emotion, the ability to gestate, the capacity to connect and collaborate, and to deeply care. Such human traits have been suppressed and rejected over several hundred years, as women have been oppressed and the Earth has been pillaged rather than revered as the incredible living system that supports us all.
Feminine consciousness must be reinstated to bring our world back into balance. The way to reinstate it is to encourage and support women’s leadership, helping women rediscover who and what we’re really capable of when we’re connected to our own deeper natures and Nature herself.
The Nature Conservancy have said that at every level of leadership, from local communities to national government, conservation outcomes improve when women are involved. As influencers of our children, our families, extended families and communities, we have the power to change the world for the better for everyone.
For those who don’t know, trees are critical to our survival and to a thriving planet. Tree planting is one of the primary ways to mitigate climate change, and they do many other amazing things, including, seeding rainfall, filtering pollution from the air, protecting soils from temperature extremes, producing aerosols that improve human and animal health and so much more. For this world to thrive, we need biodiversity. Many of the species that have been lost in recent years have vanished because their habitats have disappeared. Those habitats were forests. There are so many reasons to plant trees.
TreeSisters is a UK-based charity and global women-led movement working to accelerate tropical reforestation by inspiring and channelling women’s nature-based leadership into local and global action. Recognising the capacity for reforestation to provide up to 50% of our global warming solution over the next 50 crucial years, we have so far funded the planting of over 3 million trees in the tropics.
At TreeSisters, we’ve discovered that women who feel supported and encouraged, connected to each other, and in touch with their own deeper nature and the Nature around them rise into all kinds of action on behalf of life. Our world needs a shift in mindset, more feminine leadership, and more trees fast.
Here are five benefits of trees for our planetary wellbeing, compiled by TreeSisters Education Coordinator, Suzi Martineau.
Support the water cycle we need for our harvests
The healthy function of weather patterns in the upper atmosphere relies on trees. We need lots of forest cover to maintain the global rainfall cycles that support growing crops. Put simply, forests ensure food for our children.
Medicate and heal the atmosphere
Trees don’t just breathe out oxygen. Tropical trees also release helpful aerosols that reduce the global warming effect of cow farts! They also contribute towards cloud seeding and building the ozone layer that protects the Earth from the intensity of the sun’s rays.
Draw down carbon
Tree planting is vital to drawing down carbon emissions into the land. The latest International Panel on Climate Change report states that with adequate investment, trees could be drawing down over 30% of our annual carbon emissions.
Feed and protect ocean life
When forest mulch drains through our waterways into the ocean, it feeds plankton and sea kelp forests with fulvic acid, a form of iron that ocean life depends on. The plankton and sea kelp then support other ocean life such as fish. Hence in Japan there is a saying, ‘If you want to find a fish, climb a tree”.
Provide a road map for human future wellbeing
Trees need healthy soil, clean air and good water. So do we. By attending to the needs of forests, we also take care of our own health.
For International Women’s Day, Friday 8 March, TreeSisters is commemorating the vital role trees play in mitigating climate change and the important role women are playing in the reforestation of our planet, by bringing women worldwide together to sing for the trees. We now have 53 Sing for the Trees events planned in 19 countries, and are encouraging women to take up leadership roles and set up more community events.
Singing opens our hearts and energises us. When we sing for the trees, we commune with the natural world we love, and with others, in joyful connection. If you’d like to coordinate a Sing for the Trees event for your local community, TreeSisters has resources to support you. We’d love you to join us!
Find out more:
Pollyanna Darling is leading the TreeSisters ‘Sing for the Trees’ campaign on International Women’s Day. Details of Sing for the Trees activities happening across the globe can be found on the TreeSisters Facebook events page: www.facebook.com/pg/treesisters/events/
To find out more, sign up to TreeSisters Nest, http://bit.ly/TSNestjoin, and locate the Sing for the Trees Group.
More about TreeSisters: www.treesisters.org