About half of a tree's dry weight is carbon.
Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis and use the carbon to build cells.
A hectare of forest can absorb 6 or more tons of carbon per year.

This photo was taken during an OISCA mangrove reforestation project on the coast of North Java, in October 1993. At that time, the average cost in Asia of mature, site delivered seedlings was 1 USD a piece. Notice the neatly bundled stacks of baby mangrove trees, about a foot long, 30 to a bunch, 3600 to a stack.

Baby mangrove, or "api" in Bahasa, stacked and ready for planting about an hour 
     outside of Jakarta, 1993.
The local nursery 
     the staging post for yearlings. Among the more popular species raised are Jackfruit, Neem, Leucaena, 
     Teak and Tamarind. On the left, part of the PDA nursery in Khon Kaen, East Thailand. Seedlings are raised to about a foot in height, transported in thin plastic containers and watered immediately after planting. Most critical are the first three years of growth. After that, trees pretty much take care of themselves.
The Population & Community Development Association (PDA), is Thailand's largest NGO. Originally active in healthcare, they are now heavily involved in reforestation as a means to bring back the rain to East Thailand. Over 70% of Thailand's forest cover was harvested between 1950 and 1990, resulting in soil degradation and impoverishment of mostly agricultural communities. Warren Christopher was inmensely valuable in our study of Thai NGO's. His botanical experience 
     and in-country knowledge helped secure a good relationship with people in the field and officials in 

Trees are the original "skin" of the earth. They are also the major land-based carbon sink. If we end up growing a lot of trees to offset carbon from fossil fuel use, many creatures will be happy, including ourselves.

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Generally, mixed species are planted on public lands or school property, in long rows, about 3 or 4 meters apart.

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Often, Eucalyptus, a fast growth species ready for harvest in 7 years, is grown in between rows of Teak and others that take longer to mature.

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Eucalyptus is planted to supply the local community with fuel wood. The need for wood as cooking fuel is the major indigenous reason for depletion of forest cover in Asia.

mom&kidplantingtrees10.jpg (8846 bytes) Preceding each planting, much time is spent educating the community on the role of trees in the hydrological cycle. Ultimately, only the villagers can protect and maintain the trees they plant.

The PDA pays the community for each living tree over a period of 5 years. The amount increases each year, with the largest sum paid last. With this approach, seedling survival rate after 5 years is about 85%.

On the right is Mechai Viravaidya, founder of the PDA.

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