Following two sell out events in the South West, The Tree Conference heads East to the Babbage Lecture Theatre in Cambridge on Saturday 2 May (9.30am-5.30pm), with a focus this year on what supports trees to survive and thrive in these times of changing climate.
Leading global scientists, politicians, business leaders and organisations world-wide are now championing large-scale global reforestation as a fundamental means of tackling the climate crisis and ecosystem restoration. The UK government is pledging to grow 30 million more trees over the next three decades, 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?”
Suzi Martineau, Founder of The Tree Conference, says: “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.”
Suzi has designed the conference to bring people from different sectors and mindsets together, united by a common goal to support the needs of trees. The event aims to provide a road map to ecosystem health, and a hub for a budding Tree Network – comprised of leading NGOs and scientists – to work in partnership to assist resilient communities facing climate change.
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 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. And Glennie Kindred, celebrated author of new book Walking with Trees, will share practical advice for how we can connect with specific trees to support our health and wellbeing.
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. And 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, and key conference speakers, 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. Special acts soon to be announced!
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!”
For more information about The Tree Conference visit: