Arbor month: Plant trees, save the world!

South African-based environmental organisation, Greenpop, calls for more tree planting action in response to recent studies.

South Africa celebrates Arbor month in September each year. It’s a month to focus on tree planting across the nation. Local NGO, Greenpop, is launching their bold new tree planting goal this month in response to the recently released studies showing that tree planting is the best way to mitigate climate change. Greenpop aims to plant 500 000 trees by 2025!

This Arbor month, help Greenpop launch this new goal. In the month of September 2019, they want to set their bold new goal in motion and raise 10 000 trees in 30 days.
Since 2010, Greenpop has planted trees and worked on environmental projects across sub-Saharan Africa. They have planted just over 115 000 trees in the last 9 years in urban greening, reforestation and conservation agriculture projects.

Their focus has been on connecting people with the planet, engaging communities and inspiring environmental stewards.

On 28 March 2019, speakers at the General Assembly High-Level Meeting of the United Nations warned that we only have 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.

In addition, a recent study, published in the journal Science, entitled, The global tree restoration potential, states: “[This research] highlights global tree restoration as our most effective climate change solution to date… Our results highlight the opportunity of climate change mitigation through global tree restoration but also the urgent need for action.”

In an article written about the new study by Damian Carrington in The Guardian, he says. “Planting billions of trees across the world is by far the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis, according to scientists, who have made the first calculation of how many more trees could be planted without encroaching on crop land or urban areas.”

“This new quantitative evaluation shows [forest] restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one,” said Prof Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich, who led the research.

In response to the above news, Greenpop aims to dramatically increase its tree planting over the next 5 years, with a bold new goal of 500 000 trees by 2025.

While this number is not large when compared to other organisations globally, Greenpop is committed to a holistic, contextually relevant approach which includes a strong focus on skills development and training for the communities that are the custodians for the trees, and robust monitoring and evaluation.

In addition to the obvious benefit of carbon sequestration through mass tree planting, forest restoration has the potential to restore our ecosystems, to improve the integrity of our soil, and to improve our water quality and quantity by supporting the hydrological cycle. The time is now!

In July 2019, Prince Charles warned world leaders that they have a mere 18 months to have critical meetings that will collectively determine the global agenda for the coming decade.

“It is clear that the time for waiting is over, and the time to take collective action has arrived. We need to put pressure on world leaders to meet emission targets, we need to demand that financial institutions divest from fossil fuels, we need to hold businesses accountable for their impact, and we need to restore ecosystems. Greenpop needs your help. Help propel this mission forward.”

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