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If we want to reap the benefits of urban treescapes, ecologists say it's vital trees are seen as more than just an aesthetic addition to cities. ParisSharing / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Charli Shield

Not too long ago, many people weren't sure if trees had a place in cities. People, cars, houses and buildings made up urban areas — there wasn't much room for nature.

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Local women water newly planted saxaul in the desert at Mingqin county on March 27th, 2019 in Wuwei, Gansu Province, China. The trees were planted as part of Ant Forest, a green initiative on the Alipay app. Wang HE / Getty Images

By Harry Kretchmer

Since its launch in 2016, over half a billion people have used Ant Forest to convert lower-carbon activities such as using public transport into real trees.

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Oregon-based nonprofit Friends of Trees help to plant trees in Portland's low-income neighborhoods. youtu.be

On hot summer days, trees help cool city neighborhoods. And during extreme storms, they help absorb stormwater and reduce flooding.

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Ethiopia aims to plant five billion trees as part of the country's larger reforestation initiative spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. youtu.be

By Kimberly White

Ethiopia has set out to plant 5 billion tree seedlings this year. The planting is part of the country's larger reforestation initiative spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

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The Vertical Forest high-rise complex (Bosco Verticale) in Milan, as viewed from the Porta Nuova Gardens on October 28, 2019. Miguel Medina / AFP / Getty Images

By Alan Simson

The 21st century is the urban century. It has been forecast that urban areas across the world will have expanded by more than 2.5 billion people by 2050.

The scale and speed of urbanization has created significant environmental and health problems for urban dwellers. These problems are often made worse by a lack of contact with the natural world.

With research group the Tree Urbanistas, I have been considering and debating how to solve these problems. By 2119, it is only through re-establishing contact with the natural world, particularly trees, that cities will be able to function, be viable and able to support their populations.

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A campaign to plant one trillion trees made headlines. Experts say it's not a panacea. sarayut Thaneerat / Moment / Getty Images
It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees — a lot of trees — all over the world, and watch the planet's temperature fall.
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Greening the barren mountain has helped recharge groundwater levels in the villages. Photo by Gurvinder Singh. Mongabay India

By Gurvinder Singh

Jamini Mohan Mahanty is out for a morning walk every day. At 91, he is hale and hearty. A resident of Jharbagda village in Purulia district, West Bengal, Mahanty thanks the "green mountain" in his village for having added some extra years to his life.

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Participants at the tree-planting event in Ankazobe district, Madagascar, on Jan. 19. Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy / Mongabay

By Malavika Vyawahare, Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy

Madagascar has embarked on its most ambitious tree-planting drive yet, aiming to plant 60 million trees in the coming months. The island nation celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and the start of the planting campaign on Jan. 19 marked one year since the inauguration of President Andry Rajoelina, who has promised to restore Madagascar's lost forests.

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Owengarriff River along the Kerry Way, Ireland at Killarney National Park. David Madison / The Image Bank / Getty Images Plus

Ireland will plant 440 million trees by 2040 as part of its efforts to combat the climate crisis, The Irish Times reported Saturday.

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Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed plants a tree in Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office

About 353 million trees were planted in a single day in Ethiopia on Monday, setting a new world record for seedling plantings, as CNN reported.

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Tree lined street, UK. Richard Newstead / Moment / Getty Images

The UK government will fund the planting of more than 130,000 trees in English towns and cities in the next two years as part of its efforts to fight climate change, The Guardian reported Sunday.

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leonard_c / E+ / Getty Images

By Tim Radford

For forests, it really does help to be young. British scientists who have identified the vital factor that shows what makes a forest a good carbon sink say young forests use carbon best and absorb it most efficiently.

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences seems on the face of it to settle an old puzzle with an unsurprising answer. New and young forests make the most efficient and effective carbon sinks.

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Shivraj Singh Chouhan

The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh set a new Guinness World Record on Sunday after 1.5 million volunteers planted more than 66 million tree saplings in just 12 hours along the Narmada river.

The effort bested the state of Uttar Pradesh's previous record-breaking feat, when 800,000 participants planted 50 million trees in one day in July 2016.

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