Maintain the paper cycle with paper from sustainably managed forests
In 2015, a remarkable study determined that there were more than three trillion trees on the planet.
Using satellite images, data from forestry researchers on the ground, and scientific mathematics, scientists were able to accurately estimate the number of trees growing on all continents except Antarctica for the first time.
Previous guesses at the global number of trees were in the range of 400 billion, roughly 61 trees for each person on earth. This more accurate study was based on 400,000 estimates of tree densities around the world. It put the global number of trees at 3.04 trillion, roughly 422 trees for every person.
However, although the actual number of trees may be about eight times higher than previously thought, the scientists warned that we are cutting them down at the rate of about 15 billion a year. The highest losses are in the tropics where some of the oldest and biggest trees live.
The Earth has lost more than half its trees since humans first learned how to wield the axe. The three trillion trees represent just 45 per cent of the total number of trees that had existed beforehand.
Scientists calculate that there are 1.39 trillion trees growing in tropical and sub-tropical forests. With about 0.61 trillion in temperate regions such as the US and Europe and 0.74 trillion in the boreal forests in the higher, more northerly latitudes of Canada and Siberia.
The global need for paper means that harvesting trees for paper production will inevitably continue, and the future of our forests hangs in the balance.
Fortunately, there is a way forward, that won’t cost the earth: sustainably managed forests.