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What Is Tree Conservation?

By Christian Petersen
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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Tree conservation is the preservation and management of forests and, by extension, individual trees. It is a principle, a policy, and a practice, all of which have become more common and popular in the decades of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In many parts of the world, activists, governments, and conservation organizations have done their best to inform people that the natural resource represented by trees and forests has great value to civilization, wildlife, and the overall well-being of the world's ecosystems, as well as potentially influencing climate and the use and conservation of other natural resources. Tree conservation is often at odds with the interests of for profit companies that exploit forests for natural resources as well as those who clear forests for the purpose of agriculture or other land use that requires the trees to be removed.

The primary goal of tree conservation is to preserve and protect forests. The reasons for this are many, including the preservation of wildlife habitat, prevention of erosion, and preservation of beauty for the enjoyment of future generations. These goals are only part of the overall concept of tree conservation, however, as the world's forests have a much greater value beyond these considerations. Many drugs and medicines come from plants and trees found in the world's forests, and many trees are an important source of food for humans.

The world's forests are responsible for recycling a great deal of the carbon dioxide released into the air by animals, metabolizing it, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. This cycle is integral to the survival of all life on earth. It may also influence global climate as some scientists believe that increased deforestation could contribute to global warming. Trees also filter out pollutants from our air, helping to preserve air quality and, therefore, our health.

The consumption of trees and forests, if not managed through tree conservation practices, could result in a shortage, or even total lack, of wood as a raw material for the building and manufacturing of countless products as well as fuel. Tree conservation is a way to balance use with preservation so that this natural resource is not completely depleted. It also aims to maintain populations of tree species in an effort to prevent extinction of those that are endangered or threatened .

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Discussion Comments
By lluviaporos — On Mar 03, 2014

@KoiwiGal - I actually think the majority of conservation money should be going into replanting forests. The science of ecosystems is expanding to the point where we are fairly good at reforestation now and there is a lot of land that could use that treatment.

By KoiwiGal — On Mar 03, 2014

@bythewell - It's definitely not an issue that has been resolved, although several decent bits of progress have been made. One of my favorite solutions has been simply to buy up the land that is being cleared so that no one can touch it.

A lot of the time, the land is actually not all that valuable as farmland anyway, because forests usually don't have great topsoil. So if someone is willing to spend some money on it, then it will be saved.

Costa Rica is another great example of a country that realizes the value of its forests. They have a lot of money coming in from tourism now because they have so many beautiful places to visit.

By bythewell — On Mar 02, 2014

If you look online for maps of how much forest has been destroyed even in the last few decades it can be really heartbreaking. I tend to think of this as a problem that so many people are aware of, that it doesn't really exist now. It seems like most places seem to be fairly aware that forests are precious and work to conserve them rather than to cut them down.

But when you really do research on it, I have to wonder if it's just that other issues have been pushed to the front of the public's awareness and forests are still being razed all over the world.

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