Erin Axelrod

Image via Common Vision

Earth Month, while a powerful annual moment for bringing awareness to ecological issues, often falls short of creating year-round commitment to the environment and rarely fosters sustained ecoliteracy. Ecoliteracy, the ability to understand the natural systems that make life on earth possible, is fundamental for producing environmentally-minded decision makers and policies. As we continue to debate the most efficient and productive solutions to climate change, we must boost ecoliteracy to ensure that we are engaged and informed, otherwise we risk implementing poor solutions that create negative consequences.

One potential solution that has been a hot topic in climate change debates has been tree planting. The growing number of tree-planting initiatives and the ensuing controversy in public discourse reinforces the importance of ecoliteracy. Forestation that follows the principles of "right tree, right place, right community" will not only decrease CO2 in our atmosphere, but will also catalyze workforce development, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, and empower women and girls. As more individuals become ecoliterate, more people understand how proximity to healthy forests makes them healthier, reduces mortality in women, reduces crime, and even helps them realize how their direct economic and social needs are dependent upon the health and vitality of ecosystems around them.

Keep ReadingShow less
Trending Stories