The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) pledged the 1,297,343 trees planted on the week of Earth Day 2011 through its Billion Tree Campaign in support of A Billion Acts of Green®. A Billion Acts of Green® is a campaign initiated by Earth Day Network which mobilizes individuals, communities, and organizations around the world to undertake acts of environmental service and advocacy. Ever since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has become the most widely celebrated non-religious holiday in the world, encouraging action and awareness about our planet’s limited resources. Tree plantings and other conservation activities have been a popular way for people of all ages, backgrounds, and situations to improve their local and global environment.
Trees play a crucial role and are fundamental components of the biodiversity that forms the foundation of all life. UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign was created with the goal to catalyze the pledging and planting of one billion trees as a way of giving public expression to the challenges of climate change and ecosystem degradation. Since its start, the Billion Tree Campaign has surpassed its original goal, with more than 11 billion trees planted around the world. Just as notably, on April 22, 2011, Earth Day, A Billion Acts of Green® surpassed 100 million Acts of Green, and is well on its way to reach one billion in time for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20.
A Billion Acts of Green® shares a similar vision as the Billion Tree Campaign – that every small and practical step is transforming our world towards a brighter and greener future. Be it through tree plantings, energy efficient light bulb swap-outs, or major business initiatives for sustainability, we all have a role to play. Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, said, “We all have a responsibility to protect the world’s natural resources from man’s exploitation. Reforestation is intrinsically tied to local sustainable development and environmental awareness.”
Mr. Satinder Bindra of UNEP said, “We are very pleased to be working with Earth Day Network in the effort to aggregate and promote impactful environmental actions for a healthier planet. By planting the seeds of hope, we are creating a green economy for the present and next generation.”