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A HEALTHY hundred-foot-tall tree has about 200,000 leaves and at this size, the tree can take 11,000 gallons of water from the soil and released it into the air as oxygen.

In an exclusive interview with Former Forestry officer Patrick Rau, he said that a mature evergreen can capture more than 4,000 gallons of rainwater per year.

He added that in a year, an acre of forest can absorb twice the carbon dioxide produced by the average car’s annual distance.

A tree is estimated to be about 330 meters tall. Photo supplied.

The 50-year old also called on Solomon Islanders to plant trees in this time of climate change era to reduce its impacts on livelihood as a small and vulnerable island state.

“Trees are critical to all aspects of life, they are important to our health, our economy as well as our environment,’’ Rau said in an interview.

According to the Babatana conservation group from Choiseul province if more tree or forest is cleared they will stop their role of acting as carbon sinks and become sources of carbon emission.

Trees act as a carbon sink. Photo supplied.

“Trees often absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and store carbon in their stems, branches, and roots. It can also transfer carbon to the soil,’’ a statement from the conservation group stated.

The Babatana conservation group further said that removing C02 from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis by forest or trees help to reduce or mitigate the severity of climate change.

The statement further said that when a tree is cut down or burned, much of this carbon it stores is released into the atmosphere as co2 which leads to what we know today as global warming.

A sirebe ranger under the the Babatana conservation group doing inventory for carbon calculation. Photo credit, Sirebe association.

“However if this material is converted into, for example, furniture or construction timber, the carbon remains stored for as long as these products are in use.

“Harvested wood products (HWP) are therefore considered an important carbon pool, they include all woody materials which leaves for varying lengths of time,’’ the statement said.

The Babatana Conservation group which is comprised of six tribal associations stated that more and more countries estimate and report on the carbon stock of HWP in their natural greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories.

“But, once cut down, forest and trees would probably stop acting as carbon sinks and become sources of carbon emission,” the statement warned.

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John Houanihau
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