There are some facts in life that just stop people in their tracks, like discovering that Steve Jobs once tipped a Syrian restaurateur in a California restaurant without either man realising they were in real life father and son, or that virtually all of The Muppets characters are left-handed, or that the Romans used to clean and whiten their teeth with urine, or even more bizarrely that the word ‘gorilla’ came from the name for a tribe of ‘hairy women’.
‘over the past twenty years the forests of Europe have, contrary to popular belief, actually grown in size’
One recent fact that has come to light has had a very similar effect and Forest Europe, the pan-European organisation which promotes sustainable management of European forests is the creator of this ‘gobsmaking’ moment. How? They note on their website that over the past twenty years the forests of Europe have, contrary to popular belief, actually grown in size – and not by a bit – but by a whopping 0.8 million hectares every year.
That’s the equivalent of reforesting an area the size of the country of Malta every two weeks.
Many will also be surprised to learn that forests cover about 45 percent of European land and Europe has around 25 percent of all the World’s forests.
Forest Europe have created a short and quite watchable film about the top risks to forests across Europe due to climate change. One of the interesting things few will realise is that there are actually a number of benefits to climate change, such as a change in the tree line – ultimately these are quickly overcome by the more negative impacts such as a noticeable increase in windstorms, forest fires, pest outbreaks, drought, pathogens, invasive species, landslides and flooding, etc.
If every continent could be persuaded to do the same, we’d be some way to fighting back.