Deforestation Leads to Climate Change

CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation accounts for 10 percent of Greenhouse gas emissions. About 30 percent of carbon emissions can be absorbed by trees and soil which equates to 16 billion metric tons of CO2  annually. One acre of mature trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year. When trees are cut down, we lose our natural carbon capture system which means there will be more carbon in the atmosphere leading to climate change. If we plant more trees or prevent deforestation, we could remove up to two-thirds of CO2 from earth’s atmosphere. [1]

Algal Blooms Negatively Affect the Environment

Direct sunlight, warmer water, and increased precipitation influenced by climate change provides the perfect opportunity for uncontrolled growth of blue-green algae. As climate change, illegal waste dumping, and run-off from agricultural lands continues, algae blooms will become more frequent which can suffocate aquatic plants and animals. Scientists have also discovered that specific algae species are harmful to the health of humans  By convincing the government and local farmers to employ Best Management Practices, nutrients run-off can be prevented from entering water sources. International environmental education and political efforts to mitigate climate change are another yet longer term solution to help minimize the effects of climate change and the occurrences of algal blooms. [2]

Climate Change Can Lead to Extinction

As global temperatures continue to rise, the environment will change and some animal species will no longer be able to survive in their natural habitats. These conditions allow invasive species to thrive, further throwing the environment off balance. Without proper management of climate change, 33% of all species could be extinct within 50 years. Losing one-third of our plant and animal species will have irreversible consequences for human health, ecosystem functionality, and biodiversity. Keeping a balanced ecosystem means that we’ll have clean air and water, pollinated plants, and storage of carbon in trees and soil. With healthy ecosystems, we’re able to reduce 37% of the carbon emissions needed to prevent rising temperatures. [3]

Project Examples

Plant Trees!

This Eco-Grant winning team from Buea, Cameroon set out to plant schools in their community. They contacted multiple government and news outlets officials to gain support and planted 400 trees.

Protect Rainforest!

This Eco-Grant winning student from Carlsbad, Justin Sather, set out to protect rainforests in Ecuador by participating in the Million Letters Campaign. Justin succeeded in protecting multiple acres of land through the campaign to save his beloved frogs!

More Project Ideas

  • Plant Trees! Host a community tree planting at your school, in your neighborhood, in a local park or wilderness area.
  • Restore Habitats! Work with a local conservation group to organize a habitat restoration project.
  • Fundraise for Forests! Educate and inspire the public to raise funds for an established reforestation or forest protection program.
  • Advocate for Forest-Friendly Purchasing!  Call on your school, your district, or your city to commit to purchasing only Forest Stewardship Council certified products. 
  • Advocate for Institutions to Use Tropical Forest Friendly Products: Convince an institution like your school or restaurants to buy certified tropical forest friendly products

When you are finished, enter your shared Google folder and locate the Phase 1 Forms worksheet located in the Phase 1 folder. Complete the questions under the Phase 1.1 section.


Return to Phase 1.1

Move Forward to Phase 1.2

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