Though America has made gains in her forest growth in the last few decades, still, scientists believe that our forests’ carbon dioxide scrubbing capacity will diminish in the decades to come. This is according to a government report submitted last week to the United Nations, and reported at the Inside Climate News blog.
In presenting the report, Secretary of State John Kerry said what needed to be said: “Climate change is real, it’s happening now and human beings are the cause.” And bolstering our forests are one way to help combat climate change.
Urban trees are a significant part of the gains we are enjoying now, and offer a significant contribution to reaching our national goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 17% from the 2005 level by 2020.
And all of us involved in urban fruit tree and food forest work must continue to explain that fruit trees and food forests are part of the solution. Urban fruit trees are the ultimate multi-taskers, offering all the services of other trees (cleaning the air, slowing and cleaning our rainwater, cooling our cities, creating areas of urban refuge, providing for beneficial wildlife, increasing land values, etc) as well as the goods of food.
Both the US Forestry Service and the USDA Forest Service are beginning to look at the contributions that fruit trees can make to the environment and urban food security. I have the honor of being asked to speak at the USDA Forest Service conference coming up next month about the growth in the urban agroforestry movement. (Urban agroforestry, as it names implies, is the term used for urban efforts such as ours to plant and harvest urban fruit trees. Even here, most agroforestry is seen as rural or peri-urban. But we are making inroads to expand that to include urban environments.)
The BOP is indeed part of a movement that is expanding throughout the country.
Yet we will need recognition, and the public awareness and funding (governmental and private) that such recognition brings, to enable our work to reach the breadth of its capacity.
Thanks to all of you who continue to support and encourage our work.
Continue to invite us to speak to your groups and plant at your locations.
Through our partnerships, we can help feed our neighbors and heal the world.