Healing Trees: a symbol of life after pandemic losses
Have you ever stopped to think about how this pandemic has affected you, and what you could contribute to heal the wounds it leaves in our society?
Everyone has a story of loss and change over the past two years. The pandemic highlighted how fragile we are, the need to be united, and at the same time gave us a warning: we are not paying enough attention to our environment.
A movement born in Costa Rica has set the ambitious goal of promoting the planting of more than 5 million trees around the world in honor of loved ones we lost to COVID-19.
Healing Trees, led by the San Ramon Carbon Neutral Foundation, wants people and organizations around the world to come together to send a powerful message of solidarity, and also call for climate action. In this effort, trees are taking center stage as a symbol of life.
This project is promoting the planting of native trees on behalf of loved ones lost to the pandemic. The planting will take place from May 4, 2022, and will run for 48 hours around the world.
The objective is to have each person who has lost a family member, friend, or acquaintance due to COVID-19 plant a tree in memory of the person they loved. Jose Zaglul, director of Healing Trees, said participants are being asked to commit not only to plant trees, but to take care of them as a healing process.
"With Healing Trees, we are looking achieve real and responsible impacts, where we can give the planted trees the necessary maintenance during their first years of development," Zaglul said.
With the growth of each tree, Healing Trees aims to highlight the inseparable relationship between people and the planet, as a sign of respect for the victims of the virus and environmental commitment to future generations. It also seeks to bring a positive message of hope to the world.
Trees’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide makes them a valuable tool in the fight to limit temperature increases and restore our planet’s ecological balance. They help mitigate the greenhouse effect by trapping heat, reducing ground-level ozone levels, and releasing oxygen.
Crucially, a tree stores carbon as it grows. This means that the longer it lives, the more absorption power it has and the more carbon dioxide it can remove from the atmosphere.
The Healing Trees movement is a complement to other tree-planting and deforestation efforts around the world, including the GEF-supported Great Green Wall stretching across Africa.
For information about how to take part, please visit www.healingtrees.org.