Kenton Rogers, who co-founded social enterprise, Treeconomics, will also present to an all parliamentary group on the importance of urban trees and demonstrate the benefits that such trees provide.
Using specialist computer software that his Exeter based company pioneered in the UK, Kenton has already been commissioned by several government departments to assess and report on the effectiveness of city trees in Edinburgh, Swansea and London.
Kenton’s team (which is based at Exeter University) also worked with Torbay Council running the company’s first pilot project in 2011. It found that Torbay had 818,000 trees, which were removing over 50 tonnes of pollution annually. Findings included that the borough’s trees save local taxpayers over £1.3 million in pollution absorption and flood prevention every year.
Kenton said: “Our work found that Torbay’s trees were storing over five million pounds of carbon each year. This valuation has helped Torbay Council to proactively manage and invest in its trees at a time when many local authorities have been reducing investment on one of their few truly appreciating assets.”
He continued: “Most people tend to agree that trees are good but they are so often inadvertently ignored, under-funded and neglected, and this is mainly a result of not understanding their huge benefits. If we don’t value our trees then decision makers, developers and economists have no option but to value them at nothing. That’s not only a great shame but a wasted opportunity.”
“I hope that by measuring trees at Parliament we can highlight the importance of looking after our trees and persuade MPs of the vital role that trees play in contributing to towns and cities being positive places to work and live.
“To continue to achieve this we must value the benefits of our urban trees so they can be properly accounted for in decision making at all levels.
“By viewing trees as essential assets we can make a better case for planting new trees and maintaining those we already have – even during these difficult economic times. “