The Reforestation Revolution Can Reverse Climate Change

First published in Permaculture Magazine here

The Tree Conference in Glastonbury in November will explore the importance of trees, how they can impact climate change, and how we can keep them healthy, reduce forest fires and reforest.

‘Reducing emissions from and enhancing removals through forests can reduce billions of tons of emissions per year and are essential to prevent catastrophic climate change’ – UN leader’s statement.

The importance of trees, global reforestation and citizen-led tree planting will be debated and explored at The Tree Conference in Glastonbury on Saturday 4th November.

Suzi Martineau, Organiser of The Tree Conference, says:

“Mounting evidence shows that trees have a crucial role to play in sustaining our ecosystem’s future. So we’re delighted to be showcasing so many inspirational tree projects, organisations and artists, providing a unique networking platform and space to explore how the UK can give back to the world by tree planting. This will be the first conference to give regular UK citizens and tree lovers the chance to feed into this debate and directly contribute to this movement to safeguard our forest cover, water and soil security for generations to come.”

Keynote speakers include Bruce Parry, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Alan Rayner, and Clare Dubois and Wendy Stephenson of TreeSisters. Wendy Stephenson says: “Reforestation is a no brainer in terms of the cost to reduce 1 tonne of C02 with any technology like solar or wind compared to a tree and the many benefits it brings, not least because they keep us alive. And most technology only avoids CO2 it does not sequester it. We have to do it all, and we need to accelerate sequestration through reforestation which is one of the most cost effective ways of cooling the planet. It also serves so many other aspects of restoring our world, including  biodiversity, water retention and microclimate.”

The day’s lively panel discussion will feature Professor Sir David Read, lead author of the Forestry Commission’s report Combating Climate Change: A Role for UK Trees. The day’s key talks and debates will be broadcast to a global audience via Livestream.

Talks and discussions at the conference will also be available to view free on the day via Livestream. Visit for details on how to join.

For information on the conference and for tickets visit:

The Woodland Trust are among the many partners supporting the conference, who will be sharing information about their Charter for Trees, Woods and People, to be launched on Monday 6 November, inaugurating the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. Other conference partners include the Royal Forestry Society (the foremost forestry accreditation body), the International Tree Foundation, The Gaia Foundation and Treeconomics.

The Tree Conference’s associated Art Exhibition, running from 16th October to 18th November, will showcase the work of many eminent artists, including Elyse Pomeranz, famous for her Conversations with Trees watercolours, and Olivia Clifton Bligh whose screen printing expresses the ancient druidic understanding of trees as sacred portals to knowledge and wisdom.  Dr Alan Rayner’s groundbreaking scientific work will also be evoked through a series of stunning, bio-chemically informed paintings.

Other questions to be explored at The Tree Conference include:

  • Which trees can accommodate predicted temperature changes in the UK?
  • What can be done to prevent the forest fires that have plagued the US, Europe and Russia this year?
  • How can we support the health of Ash, Chestnut, Oak and Conifers?
  • How can the government meet it’s pledge to plant 11 million trees in two years?
  • When is reforestation not the answer for some landscapes?
  • Why wait until 2050 to become Carbon Neutral?

Clare Dubois, Founder of TreeSisters, says:

“We’re thrilled to be part of The Tree Conference. Tree planting and reforestation are initiatives whose time has come. This conference provides an exemplary template for other conferences to use worldwide. It also underlines that it’s time for us all to step into a much deeper relationship with trees. Trees offer us profound templates for how to live, and how to communicate and build resilience together, as well as for how to survive as a species. Let’s collectively seed trees in our hearts and minds and make reforestation core to everything we do.”

More information and tickets:

Useful links

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