6 Organizations That Showcase The Importance Of Forests

Forests are an important part of ecosystems around the world, providing habitats for a variety of species, natural beauty, and, of course, trees that convert carbon dioxide into the oxygen we breathe. If we want to keep these resources around for future generations, it's important to be aware of the benefits of forests, and protect them from human development. If you're interested in this cause, check out the six organizations listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Groups That Preserve And Advocate For Forests

Organization Headquarters Location Mission
Fontenelle Forest Bellevue, NE Provide a place where people can experience and enjoy the quiet wild of nature
Ancient Forest Alliance Victoria, BC Protect British Columbia’s endangered old-growth forests and ensure a sustainable, value-added, second-growth forest industry
Moon Willow Press British Columbia, Canada Help sustain forests and celebrate the written word
Supply Change Washington, DC Track news and commitments to deforestation-risk agricultural commodities: palm oil, soy, cattle, timber, & pulp
Friends of the Forest Anacortes, WA Preserve the Anacortes Community Forest lands through education, outreach, and stewardship
International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance Melbourne, Australia Raise awareness about and promote the benefits of Forest Therapy internationally

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The Importance Of Forests

The Rise Of Global Temperature

According to data from NASA

Year Annual Average Anomaly
2010 0.73°C
2011 0.61°C
2012 0.65°C
2013 0.69°C
2014 0.75°C
2015 0.90°C
2016 1.02°C
2017 0.93°C
2018 0.85°C

In Depth

Forests have been called the lungs of the planet, in recognition of their immense importance to the health of living creatures everywhere. Yet these crucial habitats face an ongoing threat from human activity, which drives the loss of woodland and jungle ecosystems around the globe. Presented here, in no particular order, are six groups working to fight deforestation, and highlight the many ways in which we rely on the trees for life.

Leading us off at #1 is Fontenelle Forest, a non-profit nature preserve and ecological stewardship association. Begun in 1920 with the purchase of a tract of land near Bellevue, Nebraska, it has grown into a full-fledged conservation organization, encompassing more than a thousand acres of protected woods and wetlands. It offers a place for people to enjoy an encounter with the natural world, through outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, or navigating a ropes course through the trees.

One of Fontenelle Forest's major efforts is the protection and rehabilitation of birds of prey; their Raptor Woodland Refuge receives injured animals from all around the state, helping them recover and housing those that cannot return to the wild. In addition to preserving the flora and fauna of the woods, the organization runs educational programs, including summer camps where children have fun while learning about ecology and outdoor survival. Those looking to support the group's work can donate or sponsor a raptor, or become members of the association.

Those looking to support the group's work can donate or sponsor a raptor, or become members of the association.

Following up at #2 is the Ancient Forest Alliance, a group dedicated to protecting the old-growth forests of British Columbia, and to promoting a shift in the lumber trade to focus on younger woodlands. Their approach involves building bridges between industry organizations, indigenous groups, and environmentalists. They work to make the case for the economic value of preserving well-developed ecosystems, and to marshal support for policy changes. The coalitions they help form place pressure on politicians to implement safeguards for these vulnerable habitats.

Much of AFA's work involves documenting the region's oldest forests, identifying heritage trees of record size, and highlighting biodiversity hotspots in direst need of preservation. They also depict the damage of old-growth clear-cutting, seeking to dispel public perception that this practice is no longer a concern. The group's reports and publications call for changes to the logging industry, to defend these ancient ecosystems, and push for legal protections for the nation's giant trees. Supporters can contribute by donating or buying merchandise, or by joining in as volunteers.

#3 is Moon Willow Press, an independent publisher with an ecological focus and a dedication to preserving forests. It is a creation of Mary Woodbury, who writes under the pen name Clara Hume; she has produced works like Back to the Garden, a glimpse of life after a climate catastrophe, and Up the River, the story of a rural community devastated by an oil spill. Moon Willow's offerings range from personal memoirs about the struggle to find harmony with nature, to epic fiction exploring humanity's role in living ecosystems.

Moon Willow's offerings range from personal memoirs about the struggle to find harmony with nature, to epic fiction exploring humanity's role in living ecosystems.

Moon Willow Press seeks to spotlight the dangers facing the natural world, with titles like The Sacred River of Consciousness, a collection of poems about the devastation of the planet, and Two Houses of Oikos, a book of essays on the relationship between economics and ecology. It is committed to engaging environmental issues through fiction, producing the anthology Winds of Change, a set of short stories exploring the climate crisis. The company offsets the environmental impact of print publishing, by contributing to reforestation efforts using the proceeds from its works.

Coming in at #4 is Supply Change, an initiative of the conservation finance group Forest Trends, working to aggregate and share information about efforts by commodity industries to combat deforestation. Focusing on the way that the production of soy, palm oil, and other agricultural goods drives the loss of crucial habitats, they seek to hold corporations accountable. The organization tracks companies and industry alliances that have agreed to source their raw materials sustainably, pointing out those not living up to their commitments.

Believing in the importance of accurate data to enable environmentally responsible behavior, Supply Change maintains overviews of forest protection commitments within key commodity industries, with detailed profiles of specific companies that make use of those goods. They also share in-depth reports on efforts throughout the corporate world to reduce impacts on ecosystems, and they disseminate informational resources from Forest Trends, and other organizations concerned with the economic drivers of deforestation. Readers interested in assisting Supply Change's work can donate to its parent organization online.

Believing in the importance of accurate data to enable environmentally responsible behavior, Supply Change maintains overviews of forest protection commitments within key commodity industries, with detailed profiles of specific companies that make use of those goods.

Next on our list is #5, the citizen's group Friends of the Forest, a not-for-profit alliance with a mission to preserve the Anacortes Community Forest Lands. Begun in 1987 to organize hiking excursions in the area, the organization persuaded the City of Anacortes to ban clear-cutting in the ACFL. In partnership with the government and the Skagit Land Trust, they created a Conservation Easement to purchase and protect the woodlands. They continue to act as stewards of the protected zone, maintaining trails and overseeing its recreational use.

The Friends of the Forest provide educational offerings through which residents can learn about their local ecosystem, including plant identification field trips, the Forest Discovery Day Camp held during the summers, and informational hikes for all ages. Their blog articles keep readers updated on news about the organization and the woods themselves, and they continue to advocate for preservation of the natural area. Anyone looking to support their efforts can assist in person as a volunteer, or financially through membership, donation, or purchases in their online store.

We'll end with #6, the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance, a group seeking to promote the practice of immersion in natural surroundings to combat mental and physical illness. Aiming for widespread recognition of its health value, the organization promotes research into the benefits of this ecologically-centered approach to wellness. They offer workshops and seminars to educate the public, highlighting the science linking time spent in nature with outcomes like immune system fitness, weight loss, and reduced risk of depression.

They offer workshops and seminars to educate the public, highlighting the science linking time spent in nature with outcomes like immune system fitness, weight loss, and reduced risk of depression.

Along with their outreach efforts, INFTA provides educational programs for individuals seeking to become Forest Therapy Guides. As the international authority which maintains the standards of practice in this field, they provide accreditation for educators, and certification for established trails. Staff members of not-for-profit organizations can receive scholarships to pursue this training. INFTA also seeks to advance the science that underpins their therapeutic methods, promoting research projects around the world and supplying reference materials online. Those looking to further the group's mission can inquire about membership.