Flying a forest for Sibiu

clergy planting a linden tree in Sibiu

Delegates who attended EEA3 were able to offset their flights by planting a forest in Sibiu.

The sky is a very busy place these days, and this has negative consequences on the climate. According to the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 1999, air traffic was responsible for 3.5&percent; of human-induced greenhouse gases in 1992. Current estimates are pointing to a much higher impact: today's air traffic contributes up to 10&percent; to global warming.

You should consider that…

  • Only about 5&percent; of humankind has ever flown. This minority, which flies more and more often, lives mostly in industrialized countries. However, the consequences of climate change primarily affect those who have contributed little to it, people in developing countries.
  • About 2.4 billion people live in rural areas and depend directly on agriculture, and thereby on climatic conditions.
  • Changes in the climate, like the increasingly occurring droughts or storms, represent a direct threat to these people’s livelihood.
  • 25&percent; of the greenhouse gases that are produced by industrialized countries are generated directly or indirectly by transportation. If every person on Earth were allowed to release the same amount of climate-related emissions, namely approximately 3 tones of CO2, everyone would spend about one tonne of CO2 per year for their ability to travel.

The CO2 Emissions for a Flight are 3 times more damaging than on the ground
Return flight Madrid-Sibiu 1320 kg CO2
Return flight Brussels-Sibiu 860 kg CO2
Return flight Frankfurt-Sibiu 680 kg CO2
Return flight Moscow-Sibiu 820 kg CO2

1 year car driving (12,000 km) 2000 kg CO2


The Goal

Trees help balance the CO2 releases. The worldwide protection and creation of forests are effective and natural ways of reducing the excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The more trees grow, the more CO2 will be filtered out of the air.

In 2002 the small Evangelical Parish Hammersdorf-Gusterita has reclaimed 30 hectares (300.000 square meters) of forest located at the outskirts, about 5 km away form Sibiu. The forest is currently administrated by the local forestry office and consists of 90% oak trees, that are over 120 years old, and 10% hornbeam trees, about 80 years old. The forest is part of a beautiful hilly landscape. Due to the neglect in recent decades, large parts have been abusively cut down and the soil is now threatened by landslides. According to specialists from the local forest-district ROMSILVA, the soil is not adequate for natural regeneration. Therefore new trees must be planted so that the forest`s continuity will be maintained. In accordance with the technical requirements, 80&percent; oak and 20&percent; sycamore maple, cherry and basswood trees need to be planted this autumn.

Another effect of the severe deforestation over the years is that many artificial clearances are continuously growing, and thus threaten the forest to disappear in time, as you can see in the pictures below. Acording to the forest-district, 7 hectars out of the total of 30 hectars need urgent reforestation. Under the guidance of ROMSILVA, we plan to involve motivated local schools, members of the community and the Local Agency for Environment aiming to achieve a greater impact, thus creating synergetic effect.

restoring a forest in Sibiu

The total costs for planting one hectare of forest are 1.715 Euros, which include the preparation of the ground, the acquisition and planting of the trees and the maintainance for the required duration of 3 years. Including maintainance, 3 hectars of forest cost 5145 Euros and the much needed reforestation of 7 hectars of forest would require 12.000 Euros.

In order to partly diminish the effect of the greenhouse gases caused by flying to Sibiu, we kindly asked the delegates for a voluntarily contribution of 15 Euros, as a sign of environmental responsibility.

15 Euros = 48 young trees, also including maintenance for 3 years!

This amount doesn't claim to be a full compensation of the environmental impact of the EEA3, but it allows us to regenerate a forest for the benefit of the local environment in Sibiu, as well as for the climate of the whole planet.