New Zealand is Planting 1 Billion Trees to Fight Climate Change

Our planet is fighting for its survival and the mankind is the one to blame causing rapid climate change. We are already experiencing the toll after so many years of exploitation of our planet and the negative effects are not something happening in the future, they are happening today.

One of the main causes of the global warming are the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere and the scientists predict that by 2035 if we do not do something we will reach to a point of no return. However, people seem to close their eyes regarding this issue believing that it will be solved by itself, but unfortunately that is not possible.

Yet, there is an initiative in some countries in protecting the planet like the New Zealand government that approved a plan to plant a billion trees in the next 10 years to relieve climate change. This plan was first initiated last year when the government allocated a budget of $485 million for the first three years.

The set goal is zero-emissions by 2050 thus becoming an integral part of the cap-and-trade or emissions trading scheme (ETS) program.

The Billion Tree Programme

The Forestry Minister, Shane Jones, said that the goal of the government is to reach the Billion Tree Programme. The planted trees will clean the air, water, and soil, prevent soil erosion, and at the same time offer shelter and food for the residing animal world.

In charge of this Programme is Te Uru Rakay and is funded by the Provincial Growth Fund. According to the official website the Programme will offer better social, environmental, and economic effects for New Zealand.

The Programme focuses on environmental protection, optimization of land use, relieving climate change, meanwhile creating employment and workforce development, supporting Māori values and aspirations, and supporting their transition to a low-emissions economy.

Thanks to this incentive the planting of both permanent trees and plantation forests, including a mix of exotic and native tree species will get significantly increased. The landowners are also included in this programme and the Government offered them grants of $120 million through the One Billion Trees Fund to include trees on their farms.

The programme has been successful up to now, 110 million trees have been planted last year and over 83 million seedlings were planned to be planted till the end of the year.

The Government of New Zealand has used this Programme for the social welfare of the citizens and as well as for the welfare of the planet. Jones maintains that the trees will help to rehabilitate degraded environments, help wildlife thrive and offer around 1,000 jobs.

Other countries like India and Pakistan were stimulated to initiate the same Programme, but not everyone is supporting this program due to the need of high funding when there are other economically pressing issues.

According to Paul Goldsmith, spokesman of regional economic development, this Programme is initiated in times when the government is canceling new funding for cochlear implants for children, closing down maternity centers, breaking its promise of universal cheap GP visits and cuts the funding for mental health initiatives claiming that there isn’t enough money.

Nonetheless, the initiative was highly welcomed by other countries and by the organizations of green peace. It is a fact that the rest of the world should aim to drastically reduce the greenhouses emissions and thus fight against the global warming.

According to conducted studies the most effective way to battle against the global warming is to plant as many trees as possible. The Swish scientists confirm that there is enough space on our planet for this even of the existence of huge cities and farmland. There is still space for new trees that can cover 9 million square kilometers. If these trees are being planted they can suck up around 750 billion metric tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and that is the carbon pollution that the mankind has brought to the planet in the past 25 years.

It is about time to do something to save our planet being the only home we have.