Trillion Tree Campaign

The Trillion Tree Campaign is a campaign of Plant-for-the-Planet to plant a trillion trees, a development and continuation of the activities of the earlier Billion Tree Campaign, instigated by Wangari Maathai, who founded the Green Belt Movement of Africa circa 1977.


The Green Belt Movement began planting trees within Africa during 1977, an activity continuing to the establishing of more than 30 million trees. [1] The Billion Tree Campaign was launched during 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a response to the challenges of global warming, as well as to a wider array of sustainability challenges from water supply to biodiversity loss,[2] with the initial target of planting a billion trees in 2007 (this target was achieved by November of 2007).[3] During 2008, the campaign's objective was raised to 7 billion trees – a target to be met by the climate change conference that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009. Three months before the conference, the 7 billion planted trees mark had been surpassed. During February 2011, Felix Finkbeiner addressed the United Nations in a  speech to open the International Year of Forests 2011, saying: “It is now time that we work together. We combine our forces, old and young, rich and poor; and together, we can plant a trillion trees. We can start the Trillion Tree Campaign.”[4] In December 2011, after more than 12 billion trees had been planted, UNEP formally handed management of the program over to the youth-led not-for-profit Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation (an organisation that has been participating in the Billion Tree Campaign since 2007), based in Tutzing, Germany, the momentum has continued with 40,000 young ambassadors spreading the message in over 100 countries.[5]

During 2019, the campaign began developing the Plant-for-the-Planet App (available on Android, iOS and Web) that allows users to register planted trees or plant trees by donating to different tree planting organizations around the world.[6] Plant-for-the-Planet App is released under an open source license and the foundation does not take any commissions for donations made through the campaign apps.[7]

1 Trillion Tree InitiativeEdit

During September 2015, estimates of the number of trees on Earth show a figure of approximately 3 trillion,[8] subsequent determination has ascertained that 1.2 trillion trees would counteract 10 years of CO2 emissions (anthropogenic). [9]

The World Economic Forum during 2020, held in Davos, announced the creation of the One Trillion Tree Initiative platform made for governments, businesses, and civil society to provide support to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2020-2030), led by UNEP and FAO. Forum participant Donald Trump, president of the United States, made an announcement that the government of the U.S. will be committing to the initiative. [10]

13,629,563,106+ trees are planted as of the 4th of February 2020.[11]


The Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement. When an executive in the United States told Professor Maathai their corporation was planning to plant a million trees, her response was: "That’s great, but what we really need is to plant a billion trees."[12] The campaign was carried out under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco.[13]

"It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees." – Wangari Maathai


Under UNEP’s leadership and through proactive advocacy by the patrons and the partners, the Billion Tree Campaign catalysed tree planting action on all continents. The billionth tree, an African Olive, was planted in Ethiopia in November 2007.[14] The two billionth tree took root as part of the United Nation’s World Food Programme agroforestry initiative. The campaign’s target was then raised to seven billion trees.[15] In 2009, UNEP mobilized action across the globe through the Twitter for Trees campaign on UNEP pledged to plant one tree to feed into the Billion Tree Campaign, for every follower who joined from 5 May 2009 to World Environment Day on 5 June 2009. The campaign was a success, with 10,300 people following the UNEPandYou page by World Environment Day weekend.[16]

The World Organization of the Scouts Movement also planted trees under the campaign in line with its mandate to study and protect Nature across several countries.[17]

The United Nations Peacekeeping missions also joined the campaign and planted trees with its field missions in East-Timor, Côte d'Ivoire, Darfur, Lebanon, Haiti, Congo, and Liberia amongst others missions.[18]

Top 10 countries by the number of planted treesEdit

As of November 2019, 13 years since the campaign’s launch, the campaign’s website The Trillion Tree Campaign registered over 13.6 billion planted trees across 193 countries.

Quote from UNEPEdit

"Looking back over the Billion Tree Campaign’s greatest successes, what is most remarkable is not its scale, but its spread. People from all around the world have enthusiastically joined the campaign and planted trees in their own communities." – Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.[20]



  1. ^ Simon N Gosling (2012) — Sustainability: The Geography Perspective, 13th page of chapter 6, University of Nottingham January 2013, — accessed 2020-1-25
  2. ^ "Commit to Action – Join the Billion Tree Campaign!". Archived from the original on 15 December 2014.
  3. ^ (content retrieved 13 June 2007 & 28 March 2016, source added 22 August 2013 (14:16)): link content unavailable - "Plant for the Planet"., (alternative source added): Achim Steiner (UNEP), in, Alister Doyle — More than 1 billion trees planted in 2007: U.N., Reuters November 28, 2007 - accessed 2020-1-23 (using "one billion trees in 2007 (achieved by November" with (google)
  4. ^ Felix Finkbeiner addresses United Nations with speech to open the International Year of Forests 2011, retrieved 22 January 2020
  5. ^ UNEP. (7 December 2011). "UNEP Billion Tree Campaign Hands Over to the Young People of the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation." Accessed: 26 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Tree-planting programs turn to tech solutions to track effectiveness". Mongabay Environmental News. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Plant-for-the-Planet". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  8. ^
    • (Crowther, Glick, Covey et al) "..approximately 3.04 trillion...", (Ehrenberg, using Crowther, Glick, Covey et al): " roughly 3 trillion trees on Earth"
    • T. W. Crowther, H. B. Glick, K. R. Covey, C. Bettigole, D. S. Maynard, S. M. Thomas, J. R. Smith, G. Hintler, M. C. Duguid, G. Amatulli, M.-N. Tuanmu, W. Jetz, C. Salas, C. Stam, D. Piotto, R. Tavani, S. Green, G. Bruce, S. J. Williams, S. K. Wiser, M. O. Huber, G. M. Hengeveld, G.-J. Nabuurs, E. Tikhonova, P. Borchardt, C.-F. Li, L. W. Powrie, M. Fischer, A. Hemp, J. Homeier, P. Cho, A. C. Vibrans, P. M. Umunay, S. L. Piao, C. W. Rowe, M. S. Ashton, P. R. Crane & M. A. Bradford (2015) — Mapping tree density at a global scale, Nature 525, 201–205 (2 September 2015) - accessed 2020-1-23
    • Crowther, Glick, Covey et al, Rachel Ehrenberg — Global count reaches 3 trillion trees, Nature 2 September 2015, doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18287 - re-access made 2020-1-23
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The Trillion Tree Campaign". Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  12. ^, Cstraight Media-. "The Green Belt Movement".
  13. ^ "Billion Tree Campaign - Green Earth Appeal".
  14. ^ "UN Billion Tree Campaign".
  15. ^ "UNEP Billion Tree Campaign Hands Over to the Young People of the Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation".
  16. ^ (this source opens to 403 Forbidden - @ access made 2020-1-24)
  17. ^ "Your Planet Needs You! Unite to Combat Climate Change on World Environment Day". Archived from the original on 22 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Tree Planting Campaign Hits Four Billion Mark".
  19. ^ "Pakistan's Billion Tree Tsunami restores 350,000 hectares of forests and degraded land to surpass Bonn Challenge commitment". IUCN. 11 August 2017.
  20. ^ UNEP (2011). "UNEP Billion Tree Campaign Press Release" (PDF).

See alsoEdit


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