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UNEP Campaign to Plant a Billion Trees

I yesterday came across the wibsite of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Last November they have launched a worldwide “Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign“. People, communities, business and industry, civil society organizations and governments are encouraged to enter tree planting pledges online and help planting at least one billion trees worldwide during 2007.


At the moment there are already 10,549,705 trees planted and pledges given for 810,485,520 trees. “We have but a short time to avert damaging and economically debilitating climate change. The goods and services provided by forests are worth billions if not trillions of dollars to the global economy. Forests are natural and economically important ‘sinks’, sequestrating carbon from the atmosphere and locking it away in trunks and branches. Globally, forest cover is at least one-third less than what it once was. It is time to reverse the trends, it is time to act” says Achim Steiner, UNEP executive director.

Al Gore writes in Earth in the Balance: “The symbolism – and the substantive significance – of planting a tree has universal power in every culture and every society on Earth, and it is a way for individual men, women and children to participate in creating solutions for the environmental crisis.”

Many nations and individuals have joined the initiative, also artists, and on the UNEP-website you find instructions how to plant trees or animation videos (wmv) and more material. They have also beautiful sayings on “Trees and Humanity“. Here are some:

“If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.”
Chinese poet, 500 BC

“He who plants a tree loves others beside himself.”
English proverb

“They are beautiful in their peace; they are wise in their silence. They will stand after we are dust.
They teach us, and we tend them.”
Galeain ip Altiem MacDunelmor

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Greek proverb

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Martin Luther

“To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals.”
Mikhail Gorbachev

“Trees are poems that Earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper, that we may record our emptiness.”
Kahlil Gibran

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.”
Buddhist Sutra

“If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree.”
W. B. Yeats

Old Olive Tree in Delphi, Greece

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