UN tree planting plan aims for 7 billion trees

14th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Enthusiastic response to an internal tree-planting campaign has prompted the UN to set a new target of 7 billion trees to be planted by 2009.

14 May 2008

NEW YORK - Enthusiastic response to an international tree- planting plan begun in 2006 prompted the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday to set a new target of 7 billion trees planted by 2009.

The programme had already exceeded its initial target of 1 billion trees, planting twice that many.

The billion-tree campaign was launched by UNEP and the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi in November 2006 to counter the threats of global warming and help meet the challenge of water shortages and bio-diversity loss.

The campaign went beyond the expectations of UNEP and its supporters, and has spread to 155 countries.

"No one could have imagined it could have flowered so fast and so far," UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said at UN headquarters.

"Having exceeded every target that has been set for the campaign, we are now calling on individuals, communities, business and industry, civil society organisations and governments to evolve this initiative onto a new and even higher level" by the time the Climate Change Conference meets in Copenhagen in late 2009, Steiner said.

If the new target is be reached by the end of next year, there would be a tree planted for each person on earth. The world population now stands at 6.6 billion.

UNEP said the billion-tree campaign has become a "practical expression of private and public concern over global warming," which results from the trapping of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Over half of all trees planted since 2006 were in Africa, with Ethiopia leading with 700 million trees, UNEP said. Other significant tree planting took place in Turkey (400 million), Mexico (100 million) and Kenya (100 million).

[dpa / Expatica]

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