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Plant-for-the-Planet

About Plant-for-the-Planet

 

Twelve years ago, a nine-year-old boy planted a tree at his school. That was the beginning of a worldwide children's and youth's initiative. As of now, with the help of many adults, governments, and businesses, the children and youth have planted more than 13.6 billion trees in 193 countries.

 

The Plant-for-the-Planet children's and youth's initiative was launched in January 2007. At that time, nine-year-old Felix Finkbeiner gave a presentation about the climate crisis. He outlined a vision in which children could plant one million trees in every country on earth in order to balance the CO2 on their own. In the years that followed, Plant-for-the-Planet evolved into a worldwide movement: approximately 81,000 children in 73 countries are currently pursuing this goal. They consider themselves a world citizen initiative that promotes climate justice. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to zero and, until then, equally distribute responsibility of the emissions among all people.

 

To accomplish this, the children and youth want mankind to plant a trillion trees worldwide. In 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEnvironment) handed over the long-established Billion Tree Campaign (today: Trillion Tree Campaign), and thereby the official world tree counter, to Plant-for-the-Planet. Businesses, governments and citizens now report how many trees they pledge to plant and have planted to the children. Plant-for-the-Planet has made the official world tree counter into an online interactive tool. (trilliontreecampaign.org)

 

Why do the children plant trees? Because trees are effective in three ways:

 

  • Trees store carbon dioxide. This alone doesn't solve the climate crisis, but it gives us more time to reach a permanent solution for it. If mankind is successful in planting 1 trillion trees, then, according to preliminary estimates, the trees will extract approximately one fourth of the manmade CO2 from the atmosphere every year. Trees will transform the CO2 gas into wood and release oxygen. As long as the wood doesn’t decay, the carbon will remain stored and negative climate change will slow down. This is how mankind gains time to reduce CO2 emissions. 1 trillion trees is only a small forest –150 trees– per person!

 

  • Trees can replace concrete. Half of all the buildings that will exist in 2050 haven't even been built yet. We currently still rely on concrete, which is produced from cement and is harmful to the climate. The production of concrete and steal releases ten percent of manmade CO2 into the atmosphere. Wood as a building material is completely different: One cubic meter of wood binds one ton of CO2 - for decades. It is the only building material that is grown from sunlight.

 

  • Trees create jobs. For example: in Campeche, Mexico, 500 people already currently subsist on wages that are paid to the forestry workers by Plant-for-the-Planet. Trees create long-term jobs in the poor countries in the planting areas and, subsequently in wood processing and reforestation. 1,000 billion trees worldwide could become mankind’s largest stimulus program. Moreover, it is particularly prudent to plant trees in the countries of the global south; they grow much faster there and therefore bind larger amounts of CO2.

 

So far, with help from adults, more than 13.6 billion trees have been planted in 193 countries. The slogan of the children's and youth initiative global communications campaign is “Stop talking. Start planting.” This slogan was awarded a gold Social Effie for effective communication in 2010. And with the help of the Change Chocolate, the initiative has already planted 2.5 million trees. This is made possible because the distributors and manufacturers forego their profit.

 

Since March 2011, Plant-for-the-Planet has established a democratic structure with a children’s and a youth global managing board made up of 18 children and youth from eight global regions.

 

More info about Plant-for-the-Planet:

International website: plant-for-the-planet.org

Planting areas on the Yucatán Peninsula: youtube.com/watch?v=sLTz3WDYoV0&list=PLST4jAQXiIHVWoh8D_fz5Yf3v_S0zVVcu

 

Some individual projects:

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ONE LEAF, ONE TREE

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Lorenzo M. Durán