But what are small forests or Tiny Forests? They are dense native forests but fast-growing, approximately the size of a tennis court (200 m2). They can thrive in both urban and non-urban environments, following the methodology developed in the 70s by the botanist Prof. Akira Miyawaki. Forest Impact highlights the importance of forests in adaptation to climate change (protection during floods, avoiding heat islands, and capturing CO2) and capturing and protecting ecosystems and animal species, such as butterflies, birds, bees, small mammals, and even humans.
Forest Impact claims that there are several advantages to planting small forests, such as:
- Fast growing – up to 5 times faster than traditional trees of a single plantation species.
- Capture biodiversity – attracting up to 500 animal and plant species varieties.
- Carbon absorption capacity – capturing up to 30 times more CO2 than traditional tree planting operations after 4 years.
- Reduce air pollution – plants are natural filters that help improve local air quality.
- Be acoustic “buffers” – able to provide significant noise absorption.
- Provide a more resilient climate – capable of processing around 30,000 litres of rain and thus helping to reduce the risk of local flooding; and still reducing the local temperature and therefore cooperating to mitigate the effect of heatwaves in cities.
- Positive impact on mental health – they provide long-term feelings of well-being.
What services do they offer?
- Tools for local governments to mitigate climate effects in urban areas while valuing abandoned or underused land.
- Teambuilding for companies. Teambuilding for companies to promote sustainable actions between teams and customers by planting small forests.
- A way for places to reconnect with and benefit from nature.
How does it work?
- Through partnerships with the public and private sector to identify unused/underused land, with the possibility of being regenerated and valued.
- Collaborating with local governments in the search for opportunities to promote sustainable actions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Creating partnerships with companies that want to contribute land and funds to create Tiny Forests.
- Working with schools to create projects and activities for children of all ages.
- Cooperating with urban planners, the real estate sector, and architects willing to create sustainable urban spaces and more resilient cities.
Tiny forests around the world: Since 2015, several Tiny Forests have been successfully planted in many countries, achieving an incredible environmental impact and involving hundreds of citizens from Belgium, the UK, France, Canada, India, Japan, Pakistan, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, USA, Chile, among others.
GoParity, AniMob, Naandi regenerative Agriculture Hubs, AirCO2, Biodiverse Carbon from Associação Verde – are another 5 solutions focused on preserving forests with the Casa do Impacto seal.
- > Community: A GoParity, residing in Casa since 2019, is the platform for investing in sustainability projects that promotes the expansion of access to opportunities and the sharing of benefits (financial, social and environmental).
- > TRIGGERS, an acceleration program that encourages the generation of new ideas and their transformation into sustainable solutions, selected AniMob – This solution for the agro-food and forestry area offers a service for sharing land and livestock by training specialized “modern herders” who are in charge of animal mobility. Directed and regenerative grazing will allow the creation of a single and joint management of land and animals, which will reduce production costs, prevent forest fires, retain carbon, and increase soil resilience.
- > In the 7th edition of the Santa Casa Challenge AirCo2, one of the 10 selected projects. A turnkey solution to calculate, reduce and offset the carbon footprint.
- > The 2nd edition of +Plus Fund, selected Carbono Biodiverso, a funded project from Associação Verde, for the Testing Axis. “Did you know that, on average, the lifestyle of a Portuguese represents 5 tons of carbon released into the atmosphere per year?”. Caborno Biodiverso suggests that you can offset your carbon emissions by funding the preservation of large old trees, which offer ecosystem services essential for life. Since 2017 alone, more than 450 of these trees have disappeared, and it is urgent to care for and preserve them. The carbon footprint compensation solution offers a subscription system consisting of a monthly donation. This payment finances a series of actions carried out on the ground, namely: preservation of trees, or Green Giants, in particular through the attribution of a subsidy to the owners of these structures, which they call Caregivers and the creation and restoration of new areas and facilities for carbon sequestration, in particular through tree planting.
- > The Earthshot Prize invited Casa do Impacto to help with the selection process for its first edition. Thus, Casa do Impacto selected the Naandi Regenerative Agriculture Hubs, a national (India) network of Regenerative Agriculture Centers that support smallholder farmers to make profitable agriculture with zero chemical use and a lower carbon footprint.
Latest news about forests:
In 2021, a new parameter began to measure the role of nature in the indices of economic prosperity and the social well-being of populations. This new parameter called the Economic-Environmental Accounting System – Ecosystem Accounting, also started to ensure the recognition and inclusion of the natural capital of forests, swamps and other ecosystems in economic reports. As a result, traditional measurement indices such as GDP (which dominated the measurement of economic growth for more than seven decades) are no longer the only relevant ones. Before this, nature’s value was never considered and was treated as “free and unlimited” and destroyed without knowing its value. By accounting for nature and the economy together, in the same framework and with the same parameters, the world has effectively seen how economic activities affect the heart and how the presence of nature affects individuals, societies, and all species.