Hawaii pledges to plant, protect 100 million trees over the next decade
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a worldwide effort to protect forests, the state said it is pledging to plant and restore 100 million trees throughout Hawaii by 2030.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said this is part of the World Economic Forum’s initiative to conserve 1 trillion trees around the globe to combat global warming by removing carbon from the atmosphere.
To meet this goal, the Land Department said it will focus on protecting existing forests and planting trees in rural and urban areas.
Officials said past efforts are already making a difference as researchers report that 2.69 metric tons of CO2 has been sequestered by Hawaii forests in 2017.
DLNR chair, Suzanne Case, said the state will permanently conserve 43,000 acres of forest and will build conservation fences to protect an additional 106,800 acres from feral animals.
So far, fences have already been put up on Kauai at Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve and Kokee State Park.
Meanwhile, Sen. Brian Schatz said the DLNR will also receive more than $5.2 million to combat climate, restore forests and protect endangered species.
“This funding will help fight the climate crisis while ensuring that damaged forests grow back stronger than ever, maintaining the integrity of Hawaii’s unique environment,” Schatz said.
“Supporting these native trees will help recharge the aquifers supplying the state’s water, provide habitat for endangered Hawaiian bird species, and prevent dirt from washing into the ocean where it can harm coral reefs and fish.”
The state said it will work with private landowners to plant 210,000 native trees and remove invasive plants from 1,650 acres, which are often highly flammable and can intensify wildfires.
Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.