Rescue Earth System

Reforestation & Trees

The Trillion Tree Campaign is an initiative aiming to plant 1 trillion trees across the globe. The implementation can have big environmental and societal benefits.

Reforestation & Trees

Planting a Trillion Trees in 5 Years

Planting a trillion trees seems like an impossible task yet it is one of the easiest ways to start the regenerative restoration process in many of Earth’s degraded ecosystems. Even though restoring forest land is at the core of the trillion tree initiative, there are many ways to use trees that benefit natural ecosystems, food production and communities.

Trees can transform bare hillsides into healthy young forests, rich in wildlife and protected for future generations. You can help to grow the Earth’s forests with Billions of trees!

Country Target Unit Achieved Last Update
South Africa
7 500 000 000
Trees
1 524
February 2020
Prospects for large scale reforestation

We have lost approximately 46% of our trees since the dawn of agriculture, and only three trillion trees currently remain on Earth. Sadly, the planet is still losing 10 billion trees per year, leading to widespread impacts on biodiversity, carbon sequestration, local economies and human health. Reversing this enduring trend is of utmost urgency.

In terms of climate change, current global efforts are not enough to keep global warming to the 2 °C as agreed upon at COP21. Other than regenerative agriculture and holistic grazing, healthy and growing forests remain one of the best ways to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One trillion trees would be able to sequestrate approximately 750 billion metric metric tons.

Landscape restoration is not a new idea, but only recently has the world turned its collective attention to bringing health and vitality back to degraded lands at scale. There are many ways to regeneratively restore degraded landscapes that are affordable and scalable! We have chosen a 5 year timeline because it is how quickly we need to get a trillion trees planted.

Tree planting initiatives already exist, including the Bonn Challenge, backed by 48 nations, aimed at restoring 350m hectares of forest by 2030. Initiated at the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP23) in Bonn, Germany. But the potential for global forest cover study by a group of 36 scientists shows that many of these countries have committed to restore less than half the area that could support new forests.

According to the UN Environment Programme, Ethiopia planted more than 350 million trees on 29 July 2019, setting a new world record, breaking the world record held by India since 2016 for the most trees planted in one day, which stood at 50 million trees..

“The changing scale of these estimates has big implications for reforestation projects and re-greening projects,” says lead author Dr Thomas Crowther during a press conference. He studies soil ecosystems and climate change ecology at Yale University, USA.

The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) is a proactive global network that unites governments, organizations, academic / research institutes, communities and individuals under a common goal: to restore the world’s lost and degraded forests and their surrounding landscapes.

What is Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR)?

FLR is defined as a process that aims to regain ecological functionality and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded landscapes. FLR is not an end in itself, but a means of regaining, improving, and maintaining vital ecological and social functions, in the long-term leading to more resilient and sustainable landscapes.

Principles of forest and landscape restoration

Focus on landscapes – FLR takes place within and across entire landscapes, not individual sites, representing mosaics of interacting land uses and management practices under various tenure and governance systems. It is at this scale that ecological, social and economic priorities can be balanced.

Engage stakeholders and support participatory governance – FLR actively engages stakeholders at different scales, including vulnerable groups, in planning and decision making regarding land use, restoration goals and strategies, implementation methods, benefit sharing, monitoring and review processes.

Restore multiple functions for multiple benefits – FLR interventions aim to restore multiple ecological, social and economic functions across a landscape and generate a range of ecosystem goods and services that benefit multiple stakeholder groups.
Maintain and enhance natural ecosystems within landscapes – FLR does not lead to the conversion or destruction of natural forests or other ecosystems. It enhances the conservation, recovery, and sustainable management of forests and other ecosystems.

Tailor to the local context using a variety of approaches – FLR uses a variety of approaches that are adapted to the local social, cultural, economic and ecological values, needs, and landscape history. It draws on latest science and best practice, and traditional and indigenous knowledge, and applies that information in the context of local capacities and existing or new governance structures.

Manage adaptively for long-term resilience – FLR seeks to enhance the resilience of the landscape and its stakeholders over the medium and long-term. Restoration approaches should enhance species and genetic diversity and be adjusted over time to reflect changes in climate and other environmental conditions, knowledge, capacities, stakeholder needs, and societal values. As restoration progresses, information from monitoring activities, research, and stakeholder guidance should be integrated into management plans.

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We must rise and face the environmental challenges of our time by reversing the economic, physical and social decline of places. This can be achieved by the practice of regenerative restoration of degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action.

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