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UN appeals all to join its 'Billion Tree Campaign'

21 May 2009

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UN Environment Programme takes its ‘Billion Tree Campaign’ to a popular social networking site to achieve the goal of planting seven billion trees before the Copenhagen summit in December this year. The initiative would send a message to world leaders on the need to seal the post-Kyoto climate deal.

Ahead of World Environment Day, celebrated globally on June 5, the United Nations today announced an ambitious tree-planting target in a bid to push governments into reaching agreement on a climate change pact in Copenhagen this December. 

UN Billion Tree Campaign
Image credits: UNEP / A file photo of Ethiopian children participating in the campaign

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has appealed to the world to help its effort to plant seven billion trees by the end of the year, coinciding with the UN Climate Change Conference which aims to draw up a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

To date, some 3.1 billion trees have been planted in 166 countries, and “whether you choose to plant one tree or thousands,” UNEP would like you to register your tree planting pledge on its Billion Tree Campaign website, it said a news release.

In addition, the agency has pledged to plant a tree for each person who joins its campaign on the internet-based social networking site “Twitter” between now and 5 June. UNEP hopes to attract 100,000 people on Twitter by World Environment Day and in turn plant the same number of trees for its Billion Tree Campaign.

“If we are to by the crucial UN climate convention meeting in December, UNEP needs your support from schools and associations to governments, businesses and individual citizens,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

If half the world planted just one sapling between now and World Environment Day, it would send “a powerful statement too to world leaders and the need to seal the climate deal in less than 200 days time,” added Steiner.

The World Environment Day global tree-planting drive is the first in a series of mass participation events planned as part of the UN-led “Seal the Deal!” campaign in the lead-up the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen.

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