In a 2017 interview with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), former Norwegian Climate Minister, Erik Solheim, called for more efforts to be placed on protecting rainforests.
Solheim made the call as an estimated 20 per cent of global carbon emissions are being generated through the destruction of rainforests.
When it comes to climate change, rainforests not only help to reduce emissions but it can also help limit the damage done by extreme, climate-induced weather events.
So it is important that rural communities in Trinidad – like Moruga – protect their existing forest cover from substantial deforestation.
In recent weeks, Moruga residents have not been spared from the extreme heat being experienced across Trinidad and Tobago.
With global temperature averages having already increased in the past several years due to climate change, climate models only predict further heating.
Maintaining trees in Moruga will be important to helping residents cope with increasing temperatures as the presence of trees, especially around homes and communities, have a “cooling effect.”
On its website, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that “trees and vegetation lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and cooling through evaporation and transpiration, also called evapotranspiration.”
Maintaining trees in Moruga will also help reduce landslides and floods in the areas as they will help stabilise hillside slopes.
In the past decade, Moruga has experienced several flooding events which have affected lives and disrupted livelihoods.
So it is important for people to protect trees in Moruga and help plant trees where they can to rehabilitate deforested areas.