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What Will the Mass Extinction of Trees Mean for the Planet?

3 min

Aerial view of deforestation. Rainforest being removed to make way for palm oil and rubber plantations
After the Global Tree Assessment found the one in three trees faces extinction in the wild, Quadrant Smart looks at what charity the Go Dharmic is doing to tackle deforestation across the world. 

The new assessment from the GTA found that 30% of the world’s trees face mass extinction in the coming years. To give context to this issue, it is twice as much as the combination of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

Quadrant Smart investigated this further and spoke to Hanuman Dass, Founder and Chairman of Go Dharmic, to understand the scale of the issue.

“Go Dharmic is a request to embrace our responsibility to the planet and our fellow living beings on the planet. It is also about living in a way that causes less harm and embraces more caring principles,” explained Hanuman.

60,000 species at risk after 1.3 million square km of lost land 

With 60,000 species of trees facing extinction, Go Dharmic has dedicated itself to a ‘Give it a grow’ campaign to encourage people to plant trees and to change their habits.

The ambitious scheme aims to plant over 1 million trees to help the planet cope with the loss of 1.3 million square kilometres of forest area since 1990.

Hanuman went on to explain: “Looking at the IPCC report and looking at climate change unfold; we are causing serious harm. So, this needs to be counteracted.

“It is all about self-determination. How can we get more in touch with the land and agricultural norms? We live in a really fertile country, you can literally throw seeds on the ground, and they will grow.”

It is a blessing to be in this position, but we don’t take advantage of this as much as we should. We have so much land across the UK that could be farmed

Having a global perspective on deforestation is the key to being able to tackle the crisis that has seen 17% of the Amazon rainforest being removed.

Go Dharmic acknowledge the need for a global perspective 

This issue is continuing to worsen since 2016, with 142 species already becoming fully extinct and a further 442 are on the brink of extinction.

Go Dharmic recognise the need for a global effort and have also dedicated itself to planting 2 million Mangrove trees in the delta regions of India.

“As the forest and mangroves have been removed for people to live, the cyclones and flooding impacts have been increasing. The cost of planting a mangrove is minimal and Mangrove trees absorb three times the carbon of an average tree.”

These delicate ecosystems are home to huge biodiversity, which are also impacted by the levels of deforestation we are currently experiencing.

Rounding up the interview, Hanuman broke down the ways different sectors are impacting the planet. This was echoed in the State of the World’s Trees report.

He said: “The biggest threats to trees globally are forest clearance for crops and the clearance of land for livestock.”

40% of the crops harvested in the world are used to feed livestock. The clearance of land for crops impacts 29% of species and land for livestock impacts 14% of all tree species.