Contributing Farmland Restoration to United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
SILVER SPRING, MD (June 3, 2021) – Agroforestry education nonprofit Trees for the Future (TREES) announces a 2030 goal to plant one billion trees with smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
“One billion trees planted by farmers, for farmers will have a lasting impact,” says TREES Executive Director John Leary, “not only on the health and stability of our environment, but on the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of farming families.”
The one billion trees will be planted by farmers in regenerative agroforestry systems called Forest Gardens. TREES staff and partners are actively training farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Senegal, and the Gambia. Farmers learn to establish and maintain a Forest Garden, effectively repairing and protecting their land while growing more food to eat and sell than traditional farming techniques.
“We aren’t just planting one billion trees. We’re training farmers to integrate trees into their farming practices,” Leary says. “Industrialized and monocrop agriculture practices are a leading cause of ecosystem degradation and, at the same time, these practices are failing to provide for the average farmer. One billion trees in Forest Garden systems address both of these pressing problems.”
TREES’ one billion tree announcement comes with the June 5th launch of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global effort to spur global restoration efforts between 2021 and 2030. An official implementing partner of the UN Decade, TREES will focus on farmland restoration, aiming to restore degraded soils, increase tree cover, support biodiversity, capture carbon, and increase both food access and income security through agroforestry and sustainable tree planting.
To date, TREES has planted 219 million trees around the world. The organization plans to plant 50 million in 2021 and will continue scaling up over the next decade through their training program, collaborative partnerships, and through their growing network of farmers and agroforestry experts. Find more information on their 2030 one billion tree goal.