How Can We Plant A Billion Trees?

The Nature Conservancy is working with in-country groups to restore and plant one billion trees on 2.5 million acres of the Atlantic Forest by 2015.

That is why it was cool to interview Jenn Diedzic from the Nature Conservancy about this upcoming event they will be having for the cause. I have been concerned about the Brazilian rainforest since my Masters Degree in Comparative International Development: Too much deforestation in such a short period of time. Now we can reverse that deforestation with this campaign.

Tell us what you do for the Nature Conservancy?

Jenn Diedzic: I have served on the Board of the Young Professionals Group since 2005. I am also chairwoman of the Conservation Committee.

Tell us about any cool upcoming events.

Jenn: On March 19th, we are having our annual benefit which will support The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to Plant A Billion Trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The event will be held at the Bowery Hotel in New York City, and in addition to featuring a Brazilian bar with specialty drinks like caipirinhas and açai and a DJ who will be dropping Brazilian beats, we have a great silent auction with items like a stay at a five-star resort in Mexico, a luxury box for a baseball game, yoga classes and retreats, lessons in kayaking and rock climbing, and lots of eco-friendly products.

How does the program help the Brazilian rainforest directly?

Jenn: All of the proceeds from the evening will be contributed directly to conservation activities that The Nature Conservancy and its partners are undertaking to restore the imperiled Atlantic Forest of Brazil. The Plant a Billion campaign seeks to bring the Atlantic Forest back from the brink by planting a billion trees over 2.5 million acres of land by 2015. One dollar plants one tree, so every dollar really does count. You can see more information about Plant A Billion. This restoration effort will remove 10 million tons of CO2 from the air annually, the same effect as taking 2 million cars off the road.

What effect will this have on our ecosystem since the Brazilian rainforest is well known for its biodiversity?

Jenn: The Atlantic Forest is considered to be one of the world’s most endangered tropical forests. This area was once the size of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard—from Maine to South Carolina but today only 7% remains. Despite that, these last stands of forest harbor a range of biological diversity comparable to that of the Amazon, with 23 species of primates, 1,000 bird species and over 20,000 plant species, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. The Atlantic Forest also helps regulate the atmosphere and stabilize the global climate by storing CO2 and emitting large quantities of oxygen.