Why do we need more trees?
Now, more than ever, we need trees. Protecting forests and restoring trees to degraded forest landscapes has multiple benefits, including reducing carbon in our atmosphere – a major contributor to global climate change – providing habitat for wildlife and protecting biodiversity, supporting local communities and providing sustainable incomes from timber and non-timber products, providing ecosystem services, such as water regulation and supply, and making landscapes more resilient to climate change.
Maintaining and increasing the carbon storage and absorption that landscapes provide – in large part through tree cover – is an essential component of slowing climate change before temperatures rise to dangerous levels. To that end, trees and forests will be essential to meet the targets set in the 2015 UN Paris Agreement on climate change.
Why a trillion trees?
There were once six trillion trees on the planet. Now there are only three trillion and we’re still losing ten billion trees per year – equivalent to losing the whole of the Amazon in the next forty years! The scale of the problem calls for radical action. Protecting and restoring one trillion trees can reverse this trend, and create a world where forests are expanding and not shrinking. This is an ambitious yet achievable vision and requires concerted action across our three main strategies of halting deforestation, improving forest protection and advancing restoration. Ultimately, we need to guard all three trillion trees and new trees added through restoration against future threats.
This is essential to delivering on the Paris Agreement to avoid dangerous climate change, to restoring nature and the biodiversity we depend on, and to securing a prosperous future for us all.
Can we achieve our vision alone?
No, our vision is a global one. It requires commitment and action from governments, businesses, non-government organisations, communities, and individuals all across the world, many of whom are already pursuing similar goals. Our role is to add to this collective effort, by working in landscapes and regions to drive real change on the ground, by demonstrating approaches that others can replicate, and by inspiring sectoral change.
Are we planting one trillion trees?
No. Planting trees is just one approach we will take. We aim to reduce deforestation, improve forest protection and advance restoration. Restoration involves both tree planting and natural forest regeneration, with strategies determined by the local context. In most settings, this will involve promoting native species in mixed stands, as similar as possible to natural forests and, where feasible, achieved through assisted natural regeneration to minimise costs and maximise the environmental value. In other cases, there will be significant benefits from planting trees in agricultural landscapes (for example in woodlots or through agroforestry). This can provide sustainable fuel, food and fibre – supporting livelihood benefits and reducing pressure on natural forests – and can improve the sustainability and resilience of agricultural production.
Can Trillion Trees fund your programme?
Currently, Trillion Trees cannot offer funding to other organisations and focuses on supporting and leveraging funds for our field programmes, partner organisations and country offices and their in-country partners.
Why are BirdLife International, WWF UK and WCS teaming up for forests?
As global conservation organisations, we share an ambition for a world with healthy, thriving forests and rural communities. By working together, we can combine our reach, resources and expertise to unlock more support for the world’s forests. Collectively, we can aim higher, in specific landscapes as well as globally.
Together, our decentralised organisations work in over 100 countries around the world with many partners. This partnership enables us to collaborate in the UK, from where Trillion Trees is led, as well as in countries and regions where our partner organisations, offices and field programmes have many shared interests.
How is Trillion Trees funded?
Trillion Trees has core funding from Restore Our Planet for the first phase (2017-2021). This is being used to provide direct support to field programmes and to leverage additional funds to support landscape ventures and sectoral change initiatives.
How do we work with communities and indigenous peoples and ensure human rights are at the centre of our approaches?
One of our priority approaches in protecting and restoring forests is to help indigenous peoples and local communities to formalise their rights to forest land, to manage forests sustainably, and to benefit from them.
Each Trillion Trees partner organisation is a member of the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights. This recognises our responsibility to address and be accountable for the social effects of our work and establishes a common set of principles that we are committed to follow.
Please contact us or visit the Trillion Trees partner organisation websites for more information on our individual policies and safeguarding practices.
Will you count a trillion trees?
Our partnership will focus on counting trees as an indication of ambition and progress in our ventures at the landscape and regional level. Estimates of tree numbers will also demonstrate the contribution that sectoral changes can make to the global trajectory of tree cover loss. Forests are complex and remarkable ecosystems that cannot be summed up by a number of trees alone; however, this provides an excellent starting point for understanding the state of the world’s forests. In addition, thinking about the number of trees allows us to consider trees outside of forests, such as on farms or in cities, which also provide exceptional value.