“Plant for the Planet”: over 12 billion trees planted
This new campaign’s rallying cry, “Plant for the Planet”, is aimed at encouraging all sectors of society, from concerned citizens to philanthropic corporations. It has already accomplished an impressive body of work since its inception.
The campaign was initially supported by the regretted Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize laureate and member of the Honour Committee of the Fondation Chirac, HSH Albert II of Monaco, and experts in agroforestry. The UNEP, in its press release, states: “to make up for the loss of trees in the past decade, we would need to plant 130 million hectares (or 1.3 million km2), an area as large as Peru. Covering the equivalent of 130 million hectares would entail planting approximately 14 billion trees every year for 10 consecutive years.”
The target of 14 billion trees to be planted was then established. The symbolic figure of 12 billion trees has been achieved this November, during the International Year of Forests, six years after the start of the campaign. This was possible thanks in part to efforts by the Green Africa Foundation in Kenya. Of the thousands of participants, individuals, and organizations participating in the UNEP campaign, Green Africa has planted over 24 million.
The campaign, which operates in the 193 UN member states, lists China as its largest contributor, with 2.8 billion trees planted. India is next with 2.1 billion trees. The new state of Southern Sudan committed in September 2011 to also plant for the planet.