Human Effort Planet Care

254: Trillion Trees


During the 1930s, when 32nd US President Franklyn D. Roosevelt enacted his New Deals, the most popular of all, and much loved by the President, was The Civilian Conservation Corps which enrolled 3.4 million young men who built 13,000 mi (21,000 km) of trails, planted two billion trees.

On January 21, 2020, The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland launched a global initiative to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees around the world over the next decade – in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change.

The project aims to unite governments, non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals in a “mass-scale nature restoration”. A day ahead of its official launch, the initiative even received the support of US President Donald Trump.

The Forum acknowledged the work of existing reforestation schemes such as the Bonn Challenge, the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration, and the work of many environmental NGOs like American Forests, or the Trillion Trees Initiative (led by Birdlife International, WCS and WWF UK). is an opportunity to help join-up these initiatives in a unifying platform. is financed by Marc and Lynne Benioff, CEOs of cloud-based software company Salesforce which is contributing in the form of WEF’s UpLink, a new digital platform built to bring 300 stakeholders of all sizes, to solve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which include taking on climate change.

Second, in support of the mission, Salesforce has set a goal to support and mobilize the conservation and restoration of 100 million trees over the next decade. will encourage and enable millions more grassroots reforestation champions by providing a digital platform to connect them with the opportunities, tools and resources they need to thrive.

In its report “Our Future in the Land”, The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, set up by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) has proposed a voluntary scheme that would involve people aged 18 to 25 taking up agricultural work in rural communities, including the planting of trees.

This National Nature Service could be targeted at young people from disadvantaged communities, as well as retirees who have “time and resources to do the work”. In June 2020, Wildlife and Countryside Link – a coalition of UK-wide organisations a coalition of e-NGOs petitioned the UK Government to invest in a NNS.

In the original study to target 1 trillion trees, Thomas Crowther and a team at ETH Zürich found that before the Agricultural Revolution, there were almost 6 trillion trees on the planet. Today, the Crowther Lab estimates there are about 3 trillion covering about 2.7 billion ha (around 10.4 million mi²)] of land. They made a map that essentially evaluates where trees would naturally exist and with that, it can be observed that there is room for vastly more trees than there currently are.

While it is impossible to plant in agricultural or urban areas, once those are eliminated, about 0.9 billion ha (about 3.5 million mi²) remain, or about a third of the area those 3 trillion trees currently occupy. Such an initiative should also accompany the protection of existing sequestration areas such as the Amazon Rain Forest.

What you can do: Join a tree-planting team such as the National Nature Service.

Discover Solution 255: Eco-friendly mattress

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