THE BILLION TREE CAMPAIGN – 145 Days To Go!
Under the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign, people, communities, organizations, business and industry, civil society and governments are being encouraged to plant trees and enter their tree planting pledges on this web site. The objective is to plant at least one billion trees worldwide during 2007.The idea for the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by Kenya’s Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2004 and founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, which has planted more than 30 million trees in 12 African countries since 1977. When a corporate group in the United States told Professor Maathai it was planning to plant a million trees, her response was: “That’s great, but what we really need is to plant a billion trees.”
Recognizing that there are many tree planting schemes around the world, UNEP proposes to federate these efforts in both rural and urban areas. People and entities – individuals, children and youth groups, schools, community groups, non-governmental organizations, farmers, private sector organizations, local authorities and national governments – are encouraged to enter pledges on the online form. Each pledge can be anything from a single tree to several million trees.
The responsibility will lie with the person/organization making the pledge via the campaign website to arrange for the tree planting. All contributing participants will receive a certificate of involvement. They will be encouraged to follow up via the web site so UNEP can verify that the trees have survived, in partnership with certification mechanisms, such as the Forest Stewardship Council. The website will record the ongoing tally of pledges, and also publish photos and accounts from registered campaign members of what they have achieved.
The campaign strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees and trees that are appropriate to the local environment. Advice on tree planting (How to plant a tree) is available via the website, as well as information about reforestation and other tree-related issues, including links to appropriate partner organizations best equipped to give locally tailored advice, such as the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Because ideal planting conditions vary in different regions, the campaign will operate throughout the year 2007.