Millions, billions, trillions? How many trees does the world have to plant to address the climate crisis, while restoring the landscapes that provide humans with food and livelihoods? Trees perform a range of beneficial functions by storing carbon, absorbing pollution, protecting soil, regulating water supplies and supporting biodiversity. Scientists estimate that an additional 1 billion hectares of forest on the planet could even cut atmospheric carbon by about 25 percent. Yet tree planting is not a stand-alone solution in the fight against climate change and must be viewed among various strategies on the path to building resilient landscapes and a sustainable future.
• The right tree for the right place and the right purpose: Tree planters should become tree growers with a long-term time horizon.
• The right tree requires the right seed source. To plant and grow a diverse range of trees means having quality seeds available in the necessary quantities.
• Tree planting is one tool in the fight against climate change and must be supported by other measures, such as carbon emissions reduction and forest conservation.
• Technology and techniques – drones, smartphone apps, remote imaging – accelerate the planting process and provide essential information on potential sites, growth monitoring and natural regeneration.
• Inclusion of local communities, women and youth is vital in the decision-making process to help ensure the survival of a planted tree.