How old-growth forests protect our Climate | DW Documentary

How old-growth forests protect our climate | DW Documentary

Giant trees that have stood for decades or even centuries are an elixir of life on our planet. They help purify the air, preserve biodiversity and are key to slowing down climate change. But the number of these age-old giants is dwindling fast. Deforestation, drought, and pests pose a huge threat to old-growth trees and destroy their ecosystems. But unconventional ideas on how to raise awareness and increase our understanding of the role these trees play, as well as rethinking how we use our forests, can all help to protect them. “Big trees are the most important bar of gold on the planet”, says US biologist Meg Lowman. She was the first scientist to begin studying forest canopies in the 1970s with the help of self-built hoists. Now aged 70, she’s pursuing the ambitious goal of safeguarding the future of ten of the world’s most biodiverse forests, by building walkways high up in the forest canopy for both ecotourists and scientists. The walkways are maintained by local residents, who also work as tour guides and provide catering and accommodation for the visitors. We accompany Meg Lowman and a group of ecotourists on an expedition to the Peruvian Amazon. In Germany, most forests are not natural – and none are primeval as defined in the classic sense. But the “woodify” startup is looking to change that, by ensuring that large areas of woodland are left to grow wild. The company’s goal is to withdraw 50% of Germany’s forests from commercial use. The start-up works by leasing areas of forest and signing a contract that no trees will be felled there for 30 years. Any trees that fall to the ground naturally are left to rot, meaning: no human intervention whatsoever. This eventually leads to a more natural forest that stores CO2. Woodify issues certificates for the additional amount of CO2 sequestered and sells them to companies. The scientifically substantiated model relies on calculations carried out by the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development. At a time when large areas of commercial forest with monocultures are dying off, the model is becoming increasingly attractive. If the idea works, says founder Anselm Schneider, it will result in the generation of a lot of natural woodland. #documentary #dwdocumentary Credit to : DW Documentary