What a lot of people don't know: There is also a huge need for newly planted trees in Europe. – Photo: R. Moers
Sustainability is an important theme for the BHB - the Trade Association for Home Improvement, Construction & Gardening e.V. Which is why it plans to plant 200,000 trees - not just anywhere in the world, but indeed here in Germany.
"We are planting trees!"
Today, climate change is the talk of the town, because the consequences for our environment have become increasingly more obvious over the past years. However, it is still a matter of debate as to whether and how this problem can be kept under control. It is clear though that "carrying on" as hitherto is not an option. We have to push sustainable management, drastically reduce the CO2 emissions and stop the illegal forest clearing worldwide. Alongside these measures, targeted reforestation is a practical part of the solution. Several studies have documented this over the past years. This is why under the motto "We are planting trees!", the BHB has since 2008 already been supporting the initiative of Dipl. Forestry Engineer Alain Paul from the consulting company Holz.ConZert, which is a global specialist in sustainability themes focusing on forest and wood products. The starting signal for the joint tree-planting campaigns was sounded at the BHB Congress, which back then the trade association organised for its members with the focus on sustainability for the first time.
Two young for every congress participant
"Since then two young trees have been donated for each participant of a congress organised by the BHB," the Managing Director of the BHB, Dr. Peter Wüst, explained. "On top of that several congress participants and companies from the DIY industry donated additional trees. As such, since the start of the environmental initiative forest areas spanning over 150 hectares have been reforested or extended." This corresponds to an area approximately the size of 200 football pitches. If one applies the rule of thumb that one hectare of forest (across all age groups) stores around 13 tonnes of CO2 a year in this country, that amounts to up to 2,000 tonnes per year. "Of course, we are not letting ourselves be satisfied with that," Wüst stated. "This success story is to be continued. Our next joint stage goal is to crack the 200,000 tree mark by 2022."
The starting signal for the joint tree-planting campaigns was sounded at the BHB Congress.
Reforestation as team event
"On the theme of reforestation, most people initially think of the Tropics, South America or Africa. What a lot of people don't know: There is also a huge need for newly planted trees here in Europe," explained Paul. "This is why we have been concentrating on Germany in the scope of the BHB environmental campaign – long before the droughts of 2018 and 2019 affected the forests throughout Europe even." The areas profiting from the newly planted trees are numerous regions nationwide, for example in the Alpine foothills, in the Black Forest, in Chiemgau, in the Bergische Land or in the Eifel. Whereby mixed forests are created, because these react more stably to climate influences.
Incidentally, trees do much more than merely bind CO2. Mixed forests offer many species of animals and plants a habitat, they protect the soils against erosion and adjacent surfaces against the wind and frost, they keep nature's water balance stable, have a cooling effect in the summer months and clean the air. Furthermore, they offer us humans an ideal recreation area, where we can tank energy. "Many of the helpers were able to convince themselves about this positive effect in the scope of the BHB campaign," Paul stated. "Because numerous planting activities are in the meantime offered as team events. More than 300 people have taken part in the activities in the forests to-date – from the trainees of different companies, through to executive boards and the management of the association. In addition to the very special group dynamics, which the participants experience during their assignment in the forest, they are also given an expert introduction into the science of wood."
7th BHB GardenSummit 2020
The next BHB GardenSummit is being staged on 8 September 2020 during the international garden trade fair, spoga+gafa, at the Congress Centre North of Koelnmesse. Further information and the possibility to register can be found here:www.gardensummit.de