UN's Billion Tree Campaign succeeds ahead of Bali talks
Nov 28, 2007, 10:11 GMT
Nairobi - A United Nations goal to have 1 billion trees planted in one year has reached its mark, the UN announced Wednesday, days before climate change talks are set to begin in Indonesia.
Half of the saplings planted under the Billion Tree Campaign, launched in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in November 2007, were done so by private citizens and households, while 13 per cent were planted by the private sector.
'I am delighted to say that an initiative to catalyze the pledging and the planting of 1 billion trees has achieved and indeed surpassed its mark,' the UN's Environment Programme director Achim Steiner said.
'It is a further sign of the breathtaking momentum witnessed this year on the challenge for this generation - climate change.'
Ethiopia planted the most trees at 700 million, as part of its millennium celebrations, while Mexico was next at 217 million and Turkey third, at 150 million.
Delegates and environment ministers from around the world are set to converge on Bali, Indonesia next week for the UN climate change talks, where decisions on a post-Kyoto emissions reduction plan are expected to be discussed.
Rapid deforestation is blamed for the increasing effects of climate change, and planting trees is seen as a way to slow those effects.
'We called you to action almost exactly a year ago and you responded beyond our dreams. Now we must keep the pressure on and continue the good work for the planet,' said Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, who inspired the initiative.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur