This year, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day is dedicated to climate action. From the steamy lowlands to the cloud forests, the Conservatory of Flowers showcases the tropical plants and places that are crucial to making our planet and climate habitable.
Tropical trees and plants take up massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and lock it away in trunks and leaves. Protecting and restoring tropical forests are among the most effective actions that can be taken to mitigate climate change.
Even in areas where tropical forests have been destroyed or degraded, regeneration and regrowth of a tropical forest has enormous potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. A recovering tropical forest absorbs carbon in its trees, soil, leaf litter, and vegetation.
Tropical forests are also vital in building resilience helping our world adapt to a changing climate. Healthy tropical habitats promote pollinators, support the water cycle, harbor plant and animal diversity, conserve soil, and provide food, medicine, and fiber to people.
Here are some actions you can take today to help protect tropical places, plants, and our climate:
- Choose products that protect tropical forests. Buy coffee, chocolate, and paper/wood products from sources that adhere to certified sustainable practices. Avoid products containing palm oil, or opt for less-damaging sustainable palm oil sources.
- Raise your voice. Contact your local representatives and express your concern for the tropics; encourage international investment in tropical forest protection and restoration.
- Join the movement. Support campaigns to prevent tropical deforestation and promote stewardship. Join efforts that help to establish tropical reserves, pressure corporations to change destructive practices, and protect indigenous rights in the tropics.
- Share with your community. Keep on learning and share what you discover. Help build the community of people who recognize the value of tropical ecosystems in creating a habitable climate and planet for the future.
Thank you for supporting the Conservatory and our work to connect people to the beauty, diversity, and importance of tropical plants and places.