How can tree planting help us achieve our climate targets under the Paris Agreement? What resources should be deployed to ensure current tree planting initiatives achieve their aims and are focused on the multiple benefits of single trees and large forests and also on communities and livelihoods? On September 29, CIFOR-ICRAF in collaboration with the Global Landscapes Forum, hosted a half-day digital forum to answer those questions.
Tree planting is essential to addressing the five challenges of our time: forest degradation, rapid biodiversity loss, accelerating climate catastrophe, broken food systems, as well as increasing inequalities and inequities. As the effects of climate change become ever clearer over time, it is vital to tap nature-based solutions that can reverse the environmental damage caused by human behaviour.
Tree planting has become the latest trend in tackling the climate crisis, motivating legions around the world to harness the incredible carbon absorbing potential of trees. Business and political leaders from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have pledged to plant billions - even trillions – of trees across the planet as a fix for runaway carbon emissions and degraded landscapes. Plant trees save the planet. The key is ensuring that these admirable tree planting pledges turn into long-lasting trees and forests that support livelihoods, communities and the planet. But how?
When planting trees and restoring forests, good intentions need to be bolstered by strong science. Successful, evidence-based tree planting initiatives start with considering the right tree for the right place and the right purpose. On September 29, CIFOR-ICRAF in collaboration with the Global Landscapes Forum, hosted a half-day digital forum that brought scientists, forestry experts, community leaders, investors and policymakers together to share insights and scientific evidence to important tree planting initiatives and how to build back better following the Covid-19 pandemic. By sharing CIFOR-ICRAF’s 70 years of experience across the global South in supporting successful tree planting and connecting efforts on biodiversity and landscape restoration, sustainable economic development and dismantling inequality, the forum aims to highlight the many ways to make tree planting good for people and the planet.
As demand for land to feed a growing global population drives deforestation, understanding how to restore the earth’s forests and develop economies sustainably is key. ‘Getting it right’ is not only a sustainability question, but also an investment consideration for forests and landscapes as critical assets. How can we ensure that our investments have a positive impact on the environment, our health, biodiversity, the food chain, our wellbeing while also financially attractive over the long term? These will be key questions at the online digital conference.