The importance of trees

Because of the building boom in Grand Cayman, trees have had to be cut down to facilitate construction of various buildings.

While we recognise the importance of buildings for housing, business and other purposes, we must not lose sight of the significant role of trees to the environment. We cannot afford to disregard this significance, because of the untold benefits that both mankind and animals derive from trees.

Trees do much more than provide shade, beauty and a habitat for birds, which are vital. Trees essentially improve the quality of air we breathe by absorbing harmful carbon monoxide gases from the atmosphere, and recycle it to generate oxygen that sustains life.

Trees have an abundant capacity to absorb and retain water. This in turn helps to reduce flooding.

Because of its leaves and branches, trees also reduce the impact of heavy rainfall directly to the ground, which reduces devastating runoff effects to topsoil structure. On the other hand, trees attract rainfall.

During very hot days, trees break direct solar rays from reaching the surface of the ground and thereby reduces the amount of heat being generated in the atmosphere.

Therefore, we must strike a happy medium between the essentials of building construction and preservation of our trees.

We can do both by exercising great care before trees are felled. Also, we should endeavour to plant more trees wherever the land permits.

This will definitely improve our relationship with nature and global warming.

Geoffrey Daniels

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