One trillion trees. That’s what Jane Goodall is encouraging people to plant, “people from all walks of life to participate in greening our planet.” Goodall launches a new tree-planting campaign called Trees for Jane.This campaign was organized in support of the United Nations’ Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and its goal to plant one trillion trees by 2030.
In an op-ed for Time Goodall (founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace) and Jeff Horowitz (founder of Avoided Deforestation Partners and a film producer) writes, “Where once our planet was home to six trillion trees, only three trillion remain. And half of that loss occurred in only the past 100 years—barely a blink of an eye considering the millions of years it took to create Earth’s biodiverse landscapes.”
Challenges for One Trillion Trees
Tree planting campaigns are not new environmental solutions, but Goodall points out they are tried and true ones—if done correctly. For example, in November 2019, a government-backed initiative called Breath for the Future in Turkey had volunteers plant 11 million tree. But the trees were planted a time when there wasn’t enough rainfall to support the saplings so three months later, up to 90 percent of the saplings were dead.
And a study in the journal Nature that studied restoration efforts in northern India found “no evidence that planting offered substantial climate benefits or supported the livelihoods of the local community. The study authors suggested that trees need to grow for the “long haul” and the ecosystems need to be restored and protected and that this will be more effect on climate and animal habitats. Restoration requires a long-term commitment of monitoring and resources.
As climate scientist Lalisa Duguma said, “Forget tree planting, start tree growing.” Even the fast-growing trees take at least three years to mature, while others can take eight years or more. “If our thinking of growing trees is downgraded to planting trees, we might miss that big part of the investment that is required.”
One Trillion Trees: Ways It Can Work
One place that has made that investment is a region in southern Brazil called Pontal do Paranapanema. Over the last 35 years, the nonprofit Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas has worked with the local communities to plant more than 2.7 million native trees. The trees provided fruits for the locals to eat, seedlings to sell that created a new revenue stream, and created a network of forest corridors for the vulnerable black lion tamarin monkey.
This forest of trees is an example of massive tree growing projects that can be beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants on many levels. Trees absorb greenhouse gases, which help combat rising temperatures.
Goodall and Horowitz write, “We want to inspire everyone worldwide to combat our climate crisis by adding new funding and momentum to ongoing efforts to stop deforestation and restore lost forests. We want to encourage people to plant and nurture their own trees to help our cause and better value the fragility of nature.”
We, at Whole Champion Foundation, wrote back in September that tree species around the world are going extinct. One way we can combat that is by planting trees in whatever space we have, whether that is in our yards, in big planters on our patios, in public gardens and parks, or in our cities’ common spaces. And once we plant those trees, we need to nurture them and grow them for the long-haul.
The Trees for Janes’ website quotes Goodall: “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a different.”
If one trillion trees will be planted by 2030, it will indeed take every individual on the planet to grow a few.
Choose today to make a difference by donating to Trees for Jane, by registering the trees you plant and grow on their website, and by letting us here at Whole Champion Foundation know about how you are taking action.