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Trees for Life joins UN effort to plant 1 billion trees in 2007

Press Release 22nd November 2006

Award winning forest restoration charity, Trees for Life, have today pledged considerable support for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Plant for the Planet’ – Billion Trees Campaign, recently launched by the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Wangari Maathai. In a substantial scaling up of its conservation work, the charity will more than double this year’s planting total with a commitment to plant 100,000 native trees in the Scottish Highlands in 2007. Launching this pledge at the start of National Tree Week, Trees for Life is one of the first UK organisations to step up to the challenge.

The charity’s executive director and founder, Alan Watson Featherstone, said “We’re delighted to join forces with UNEP, and people all over the world, in making this positive and practical commitment to plant 100,000 trees next year. These trees will make a significant contribution to the return of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands and are also a statement of care and concern for the future of the planet.”

The UNEP campaign’s goal is for a billion trees to be planted by individuals and organisations around the world in 2007, to encourage people everywhere in addressing the issue of climate change. The Billion Tree Campaign encourages planting in degraded natural forest and wilderness areas. With Scotland having lost 99% of the original Caledonian Forest, and the Highlands offering substantial scope for restoring wild land, Trees for Life is ideally placed to help achieve UNEP’s goal and is now seeking extra volunteers to help with planting the trees in spring and autumn 2007.

Muriel Gray, writer, broadcaster and Patron of Trees for Life said “100,000 trees in 2007 – what a fantastic project! This is an opportunity nobody should pass up, because it’s as important as it is exciting.”

 

Notes to Editors

Young alder trees in the beds at the Plodda Lodge nursery

Young alder trees growing in the Trees for Life nursery at Plodda Lodge. We have pledged to plant them out in 2007.

Trees for Life
Working in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and the RSPB, Trees for Life has been actively restoring the Caledonian Forest since 1989. Running over 30 volunteer Conservation Holidays a year Trees for Life have already planted more than half a million native trees as part of a far reaching project to return a 900 square mile target are in the North West Highlands to wild forest. The long term goal of Trees for Life is to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of 600 square miles in the north-central Highlands, and to reintroduce the missing species of wildlife, such as the beaver, wild boar, brown bear, moose, lynx and wolf which formerly lived in the forest.

The Caledonian Forest
Formerly covering 1.5 million hectares the Caledonian Forest has been reduced to just 1% of its former extent. The forest is still declining because deer and sheep overgraze the seedling trees, so that as the mature trees die they are not replaced. However, with protection from overgrazing, the seedlings grow successfully, thereby allowing a new generation of trees to reach maturity.

UNEP Billion Tree Campaign
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is launching a major worldwide tree planting campaign. Under the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign, people, communities, business and industry, civil society organizations and governments will be encouraged to enter tree planting pledges on this website with the objective of planting at least one billion trees worldwide during 2007.

Wangari Maathai
Professor Wangari Muta Maathai, first introduced her tree planting concept to ordinary citizens in 1976, later going on to develop the Green Belt Movement, a broad-based organisation whose main focus is helping women’s groups in Africa plant trees to conserve the environment and improve the quality of life. In 2004 she was announced Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

National Tree Week
Environmental charity The Tree Council, a partnership of organisations working together for trees, began National Tree Week in 1975 and it’s now the UK’s largest annual celebration of trees and woods. Thanks to its members, volunteer Tree Wardens and others, over 20 million trees have been planted since the first National Tree Week and many millions of people have been involved.

Contact:
Mandeigh Wells Development Manager, Trees for Life Tel: 01309 691292
mandeigh@treesforlife.org.uk

 

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Published: 26 November 2006
Last updated: 25 August 2010

Trees for Life is an award winning conservation charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest
and all its species to a large contiguous area in the Highlands of Scotland.

Trees for Life is a registered charity Scottish charity No. SC021303, and a company limited by guarantee No. 143304 with its registered offices at Forres, Scotland.
VAT reg. No. 605079649
Photos © Alan Watson (unless otherwise indicated) - Banner Credits - Illustrations © Caragh McAuley

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