Plant a tree and save the planet is a common catch cry and indeed there is good science and good sense in proliferating these natural carbon capture and storage structures which also generate our oxygen. Trees also ameliorate our weather, promote rain and provide innumerable ecosystems for other plants and animals. We need to plant trees to counter the deforestation that has been one of humankind's most enduring skills.
Each successive civilisation has withdrawn natural living capital instead of balancing land clearing with replanting and when the natural forests go, so do the animals and plants that live in the forest ecosystem. The Amazon Basin and the transformation of Borneo are two recent examples.
On the upside, China is showing the way with some 66 billion trees planted since 1978 as part of its fight against its expanding deserts. This Chinese Great Green Wall is equalled in concept by the Great Green Wall of Africa extending from west to east coast over some 7000 kilometres through some 21 countries in an attempt to slow the creeping desertification from the Sahara south.
Closer to home, the Jesmond Lions Club has been the moving force for the last seven years in planting some 5000 trees in Pambalong Nature Reserve at Minmi to restore the land degraded by farming, mining and road works.
Magnificent progress, for which Jesmond Lions can feel justly proud for promoting biodiversity in our region.
Biological diversity encompasses all the different plants, animals and microorganisms, their genes, and the terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems of which they are a part. Over the last 200 years, Australia has suffered the largest documented decline in biodiversity of any continent.
To raise our awareness, Biodiversity Day will be celebrated once again on October 3 this year at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park.
Come along with your family to support those tireless people who work to preserve the biodiversity of our region for our grandchildren and to enjoy a mouth-watering sausage sizzled by Jesmond Lions.
As Thomas Jefferson said, "the earth belongs in usufruct to the living".