Applauding the World's Tree Planters
This year, we’ve witnessed growing momentum around trees as a tool to help solve society’s unprecedented challenges. People around the globe are turning to trees for a good reason: they change lives. They provide the necessities of life itself. From cleaning our air and water to promoting physical and mental health, trees are integral to the wellbeing of both people and our planet.
Today, the World Economic Forum launched the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org, a platform supporting the global effort to conserve, restore, and grow 1 trillion trees worldwide by 2030. The Arbor Day Foundation joined dozens of other organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to NGOs and governments in committing to 1t.org. We are proud to not only pledge 100 million trees toward this goal but to stand alongside fifteen of our existing partners, who are amplifying their commitment to tree planting and the impact that it has on our planet and our people.
For nearly five decades, the Arbor Day Foundation has believed in the power of trees to better the world and benefit its inhabitants. A greener world is healthier, more beautiful, and more equitable. We see proof of that every day, whether we’re planting shady oaks in urban areas or seedlings to restore a wildfire burn scar.
If there was ever a time to recognize the value of trees, it is now. Our society faces unprecedented challenges, especially climate change and its symptoms: increasingly extreme weather events, previously habitable places becoming uninhabitable, threats to our food and water sources. Trees can play an important role in our climate solution, not only removing carbon from the atmosphere but also cooling our cities, decreasing air pollution, filtering water, providing sustenance, and more. Perhaps most importantly, trees resonate with people. In an increasingly divisive world, trees can bring people together.
With this incredible potential in mind, the Arbor Day Foundation strives to drive the tree planting movement. In 2019, we publicly launched Time for Trees®, an initiative to plant 100 million trees and inspire 5 million tree planters around the globe by 2022. Through Time for Trees and our work spanning back fifty years, we know that our partners are our most valuable assets. We convene public agencies, major corporations, more than 700,000 members, hundreds of planting nonprofits, and our recognized Tree City USA® communities and Tree Cities of the World®. In doing so, we see the importance this network plays in leading transformational change and solving global issues.
We also know that our mission – to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees – goes beyond the Foundation’s own goals. We have been thrilled to voice support for efforts to strategically and responsibly plant trees at scale, from major corporations fostering environmental action among employees and customers to fellow environmental NGOs setting billion- and trillion-tree goals.
We applaud the World Economic Forum for shining a light on the vital need for trees and for aiming to unite the global reforestation community around ambitious goals. As a long-standing member of that community, the Arbor Day Foundation is excited to continue building momentum and excitement around tree planting to compel positive change.