One Billion Trees And Counting
July 15, 2016
Washington, DC – Earth Day Network’s theme for Earth Day 2016 was “Trees For The Earth.” A bold, ambitious goal was laid out to plant 7.8 billion trees – one for every person on the planet – by Earth Day 2020, EDN’s 50th anniversary. Success at reaching that goal would take a lot of work, a lot of funding, and partners worldwide who saw the value and importance in getting trees in the ground. With a great deal of help coming in the form of the Paris Climate Agreement, individual nations now have binding agreements to plant trees as part of their pledges. Those agreements are making a big difference.
With a commitment of some 460 million trees coming from the State of Telangana in India, Earth Day Network can confirm that we have reached the one billion mark on our march to 7.8 billion. EDN had previously collected a massive commitment from the World Boy Scouts to plant over 500 million trees by 2020. That in conjunction with dozens of other smaller pledges put our total to date at just over one billion. And it took slightly less than seven months.
“We knew going into it that reaching 7.8 billion trees by 2020 was going to be a long hard slog. But more importantly we knew it was not impossible,” explained Kathleen Rogers, President of the Earth Day Network. “Nations are now beginning to realize the critical, central roles that trees and soil will play in greenhouse gas reduction. We will reach 7.8 billion trees planted by Earth Day 2020.”
“It was striking that over 60 countries mentioned reforestation in their climate commitments last year in Paris. The tremendous potential and affordability of the land sector is becoming much more widely understood,” said Orion Cruz, Earth Day Network’s Deputy Director of Forest and Climate Policy. “The big question is, can we act cooperatively and quickly enough to reap the benefits of this knowledge by 2020? We believe so.”
Trees for the Earth focuses on those regions of the world most affected by deforestation. In order to achieve our goal of 7.8 billion trees, we will work with partners from all levels of society, integrate trees into all of our existing campaigns, and create coalitions with national and subnational governments, mayors, faith leaders, businesses, and civil society from all across the globe.
Our goals for planting these trees are as simple as they are important:
- Fight climate change and pollution;
- Support communities, their local economies, and their way of life;
- Protect biodiversity; and
- Inspire millions of people to join us in environmental citizenship and stewardship.