Why plant trees ? Climate change, soil erosion, the destruction of ecosystems and biodiversity, pandemics… By planting trees, we provide a pluralist answer to the multifaceted crisis facing the planet. Our societies have created a world that urgently needs to be regenerated. Planting trees is part of the answer. It is a multidimensional, ecosystem approach. Interview with Jean-Philippe Beau-Douëzy ecologist, environmental consultant and co-founder of the Plant for the Planet programme.
Trees, man’s best allies
Trees are our allies. They provide wood, one of the f irst materials to be used by mankind. Wood for f ire, wood for building, wood for medical uses and sacred wood: trees have infinite potential for humans.
As true providers of humus, their role in soil production and conservation is one of the most important. Under a b ed of leaves, in the shade of a tree, the soil is often rich and soft… holding the promise of f arming, which is so vital to human life.
The behaviour of trees is extraordinary… They help f ix the carbon they stock, in some cases in the soil, thanks to a p rocess known as oxalogenesis*. Others f ix nitrogen, the f uel of the plant world.
And last but certainly not least, they have an amazingly positive effect on our wellbeing. Studies have shown that planting trees in the grounds of retirement homes improves quality of life for their elderly residents, and that a s troll through a f orest reduces our stress levels. Planting trees in cities improves air quality and reduces urban violence.
By reconnecting us with nature, trees help us (re)connect with our inner selves: a s acred gift that releases our spirituality… – Jean-Philippe Beau-Douëzy
Plant trees for the future
These markers of time are also beautiful to behold. A majestic tree standing tall in the middle of a field is a symbol of resistance to time itself and a celebration of the mystery of life, which will continue to hold us in its spell for centuries to come.
Planting trees needs to be a conscious act. The goal is not simply to construct rows of pine trees or eucalyptus for the purposes of carbon offsetting or short-term financial gain.
The true philosophy behind tree planting is to create the conditions that foster a true regeneration of the ecosystems we have damaged, thereby providing hope and the promise of new life to the inhabitants of our planet.
Agroforestry, biomimetic forests, life-giving forest-gardens, urban forests and more… It is possible to increase the presence and productivity of these ecosystems in order to pave the way for a sustainable future that represents a precious opportunity for mankind – for ourselves and the generations to come.
This is the vision that drives the work of the Yves Rocher Foundation, and its tree planting programme is a humble step in the right direction, a joyful, positive invitation to strive for a better world.
* Oxalogenic trees have a metabolic process known as the oxalate-carbonate pathway. This metabolic pathway forms oxalate ions which, at soil level, through symbiotic association with bacteria and fungi, form calcium carbonate (CaCO3, limestone), which is one of the most long-lasting types of carbon sink.
Would you like to find out more about our tree planting programme in France and around the world?