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The Tree Conference 2020

The event that will explore how to cool the planet by getting tree planting right
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Reforestation in Chile

Following two sell-out events in the South West, The Tree Conference will head East to the Babbage Lecture Theatre in Cambridge on Saturday 02 May (09.30-17.30).

This year’s focus will be on what trees need to survive and thrive in these times of a changing climate.

Click here to book Early Bird tickets to the Tree Conference

Leading global scientists, politicians, business leaders and organisations all over the world are now championing large-scale global reforestation as a fundamental way to tackle the climate crisis and restore ecosystems.

The UK Government has pledged to plant 40 million trees, and the World Economic Forum is working with corporations and the tree sector to meet its target of 1 trillion trees globally.

The big question The Tree Conference will be addressing is ‘How can we practically achieve and exceed these goals to protect our soils, communities and weather systems?’

Getting reforestation right

Suzi Martineau, founder of The Tree Conference, has created a conference that will bring people from different sectors and mindsets together, united by a common goal to support the needs of trees.

The aim of the event is to provide a road map to ecosystem health, and a hub for a budding Tree Network – comprising leading NGOs and scientists – to work in partnership to assist resilient communities facing climate change.

Tree Conference speakers

Speakers at this year’s conference – which is being spearheaded by global reforestation charity TreeSisters – include trailblazing ‘youth generation’ biologist Merlin Sheldrake who will share ground-breaking research from his new book Entangled Life.

The book is about the hidden world of fungi and the ‘Wood Wide Web’ – what he calls a ‘social network for plants’ – explaining how it radically alters our understanding of how life works.

Frontier political scientist David Ellison, a researcher at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will explain the role of trees in the global weather system and call for the IPCC to shift its focus from carbon budgeting to safeguarding ecosystems.

Sharing his experience of ecosystem restoration in Scotland, award-winning ecologist and tree conservationist Alan Watson Featherstone will explore if this can be applied to alleviate methane release created by retreating glaciers in Greenland.

‘While we all tend to agree on the benefits of tree planting, most of us unwittingly do things that support deforestation and poor tree health, both locally and internationally. The Tree Conference lifts up the amazing people with essential skills for ecosystem renewal, including scientists with life-changing insights into the world of trees and fungi, lawyers protecting forests, and the extraordinary new wave of youth change-makers generating breakthrough global-scale solutions.’

Founder of The Tree Conference

Glennie Kindred, celebrated author of the new book Walking with Trees, will share practical advice for how we can connect with specific trees to support our health and wellbeing.

Nature’s legal rights

A legal panel featuring speakers from environmental lawyers Client Earth, Stop Ecocide (the legacy of the late ecocide lawyer Polly Higgins) and The Rights of Nature will discuss legal frameworks for planting projects and for protecting trees and old growth forests.

During a networking slot, spokespeople for local and international tree care projects will discuss current tree-related issues, including drought and flooding, while a special workshop presented by Crowther Labs’ youth scientists will invite participants to feed into the research for a new global reforestation database.

The day’s closing panel – featuring John Tucker, director of Woodland Creation for the Woodland Trust – will explore the direction of UK grants and opportunities for the growing Tree Network to support citizen-led reforestation, alongside questions arising from the floor.

Clare Dubois, Founder of TreeSisters, will then conclude the day with a guided meditation to support the growth of our global forests.

The conference’s talks, panels and interview sessions will be punctuated by live music and storytelling throughout the day.

Suzi Martineau says: ‘Early bird tickets for The Tree Conference are on sale until Sunday 22 March, so book now to get the best price. Come and participate in this exciting forum and be part of the emergent global network of wonderful people caring for trees. Our trees need us right now!’

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