Running for the trees, and spreading climate awareness

On 19 August 2017, the Climate-Trail will take place in Herbeumont (Belgium), an event that provides a unique opportunity to combine environmental awareness with outreach and tree planting. With 1,000 runners spreading climate change messages, Climate-Trail organizer Resources and Synergies Development (R&SD) aims to plant 100,000 trees.

Hoping to make a positive difference in the long battle against climate change and deforestation, drawings and taglines about the environment from young people around the world will be conveyed during the run in Herbeumont.

The 100,000 trees will be planted at nurseries managed by CIFOR and R&SD in Yangambi, on land owned by the Agriculture Research Station (INERA). Financial support stems from CIFOR’s provision to offset its carbon footprint, as well as donations and registration fees made possible by this first edition of the Climate-Trail.

Both indigenous and exotic tree species will be planted. These trees will serve many purposes such as demarcating land, as windbreaks and ornaments, for renewable firewood and shade, and, obviously, for carbon storage. International and local scientists will measure and study these young trees, and the Yangambi Research Center will soon be equipped with two flux towers enabling the collection of data on greenhouse gases. Combining data from the flux towers with precise data on biomass growth will deliver scientific knowledge relevant to topics such as REDD+ and MRV.

In addition, managing young trees and running a tree nursery provides BSc and MSc students with in situ experimental areas. Forest genetics, biomass growth, carbon storage, silviculture, very high resolution remote sensing using civil drones, etc. are but a few research areas made possible with these afforestation sites.