The United States has announced that it will join the Trillion Tree Initiative. There has been no statement on the details of what the US will do as part of the Trillion Tree Initiative.
There were once six trillion trees on the planet, now there are only three trillion and we’re still losing ten billion trees per year. That leads to a changing climate, a shrinking habitat for wildlife, and harder lives for billions of people. The scale of the problem calls for radical action.
One trillion trees protected and restored can reverse these trends and create a world where forests are expanding, not shrinking. This is essential to delivering on the Paris Agreement to avoid dangerous climate change, to restoring nature and the biodiversity we depend on and to securing a prosperous future for us all.
Trillion Trees has core funding from Restore Our Planet for the first phase (2017-2021). This is being used to provide direct support to field programmes and to leverage additional funds to support landscape ventures and sectoral change initiatives.
Are they planting one trillion trees?
No. Planting trees is just one approach we will take. They aim to reduce deforestation, improve forest protection and advance restoration. Restoration involves both tree planting and natural forest regeneration, with strategies determined by the local context. In most settings, this will involve promoting native species in mixed stands, as similar as possible to natural forests and, where feasible, achieved through assisted natural regeneration to minimise costs and maximise the environmental value. In other cases, there will be significant benefits from planting trees in agricultural landscapes (for example in woodlots or through agroforestry). This can provide sustainable fuel, food and fibre – supporting livelihood benefits and reducing pressure on natural forests – and can improve the sustainability and resilience of agricultural production.
Going beyond zero-deforestation requires more than effective local or regional projects. Certain commodities are having a devastating effect on the world’s tropical forests, but need to be tackled through their entire supply chains. There are a lot of efforts already underway to tackle deforestation linked to the biggest culprits – soy, beef, and palm oil for example – and our organizations are already contributing to these. Therefore, they are focusing on others that so far have received less attention, such as cocoa and rubber.
On the forefront of forest conservation innovation, our Trillion Trees Landscape Ventures are showing what is possible in terms of sustainable production, and our work at the global level links these models to the companies, sector platforms, and government policies that can mainstream best practice.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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