Tree Planting: A Crucial Step to Combat Climate Change

Tree Planting: A Crucial Step to Combat Climate Change

One thing that sets Earth aside from other planets is trees. These natural carbon-capturing organisms provide clean air, food, and protect the soil structure and water resources. However, human practices such as deforestation are slowly taking their toll as global temperatures rise and climate change becomes noticeable. Every year, more than 15 billion trees are cut down for agricultural expansion, timber harvesting, and urbanization. On the other hand, reforestation is struggling to catch up, with only 1.83 billion trees planted annually. If we want to upset and curb the effects of climate change and global warming, we need to plant 1.2 trillion more trees. Here are staggering tree-planting statistics for 2023 to put the latest data into perspective.

Are we cutting down too many trees?

As recently stated, we’re only planting 1.83 billion trees yearly while losing 15.3 billion trees to human activity. That’s roughly one tree planted for every 8 cut down. Here are some fast facts about deforestation:

  • 46% of trees on the planet are cut down by deforestation.
  • Only one-third of recorded rainforests in the world remain active.
  • Only 31% of Earth’s total land area is covered by forests, but since the 1990s, 420 million hectares have been lost from human activity.
  • Humans cut down 42 million trees every day.
  • Research estimates that 60% of emerging infectious diseases will come from animals. So habitat loss from deforestation may cause a viral jump from wildlife to humans as animals to lose shelter.
  • Nature survey reported that the Earth now has roughly 3.02 trillion trees remaining. That’s about 422 trees for every person.
  • The same survey discovered that the global deforestation rate stands at 0.06% annually. Because of the increasing reforestation initiatives, that rate slowed down in 2010-2022 than the previous two decades.

Tree Planting By Country: Who’s in the Lead?

As of 2022, China has the most trees planted in 2021 at more than 2.5 billion trees. We expect that number to skyrocket as China sets up a massive tree-planting campaign to achieve 36,000 square kilometers of forest cover. This is part of China’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2060. In perspective, that area is larger than Belgium’s total area.

India, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Mexico, and other countries also ramped up their reforestation initiatives and are planting hundreds of millions to billions of trees annually. Here’s a table showing the top 20 countries that planted the most trees in the last couple of years. Australia ranks 46th, with roughly 11.9 million trees planted in the last few years.

Name of Country Number of Trees Planted Position/Ranking (Global)
China 2,407,149,493 1
India 2,159,420,898 2
Ethiopia 1,725,350,234 3
Pakistan 1,006,776,724 4
Mexico 789,307,032 5
Turkey 711,103,088 6
Peru 646,502,236 7
Nigeria 626,725,667 8
Kenya 534,680,609 9
United States 315,586,982 10
Ghana 220,571,208 11
Italy 211,269,211 12
Myanmar 192,154,935 13
Philippines 187,393,371 14
Tanzania 159,635,654 15
Brazil 144,078,245 16
Cuba 137,476,944 17
Canada 137,302,121 18
Algeria 128,124,520 19
Burundi 119,430,669 20
Australia 11,908,134 46

Top 10 Tree Planting Facts

Governments, non-profit organizations, and charities worldwide conduct tree-planting initiatives to reverse the effects of global warming and carbon emissions. But how much impact are they making against the environmental crisis? Here are the top 10 tree-planting facts and figures to give you an idea about the scale of global tree-planting projects.

  1. In the past 40 years, a satellite data report showed that we’ve planted more than 800,000 square miles of trees.

  2. Before the advent of the agricultural revolution 12,000 years ago, the World Economic Forum estimated that there were about 6 trillion trees worldwide. That shows a 50% decline at present.

  3. There are at least 3.04 trillion trees in the world today. This estimates around 422 trees for each person.

  4. Team Trees, a collaborative fundraiser, planted 24,095,239 trees as of 2022. Two years ago, the initiative met its goal of planting 20 million trees by the end of 2020.

  5. The Earth has more than enough space to produce 60 billion full-grown trees, excluding agricultural land.

  6. Millions of acres of forests barren by deforestation and wildfire need human intervention to plant new trees. It could take 80 years for forest soil to naturally recover from fires and logging.

  7. 31% of the Earth’s land surface is forest cover. That’s about 4.06 billion hectares – but it is shrinking at an unprecedented rate. In 1990-2020, roughly 420 million hectares of the forest were lost to deforestation.

  8. Food production, such as farming and grazing, remains the largest cause of deforestation in the tropics and subtropics. That accounts for 80% of a decade of deforestation.

Leading global tree-planting initiatives

As the list above shows, developed and developing countries stand in the top 20 tree-planting nations. That’s because of government-backed and private large-scale tree-planting initiatives. Here are some of the leading global tree-planting initiatives across the globe:

Trillion Tree Campaign

The initiative started as a Billion Tree Campaign that met its goal in 2007. The United Nations Environment Programme launched the Trillion Tree Campaign after hitting its increasing goals consecutively. From its first goal of planting a billion trees, the bar was raised to 7 billion and was met in 2009. UNEP increased its target to 12 billion in 2015, then 15 billion in 2017. Currently, the campaign’s goal is to plant 1 trillion trees globally.

Rwanda Tree Planting

Rwanda’s national government announced its commitment to plant over 43 million trees, showing its determination to take climate action. The African country aims to meet its goal and reduce carbon emissions by 38% by 4.6 million tonnes by 2030. Their government aims to restore 2 million hectares of barren forest land by 2030. Ambitious as it seems, Rwanda increased its forest cover by 30% one year earlier than its target year of completion.

Pakistan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami

Pakistan’s national government announced a massive project of growing 10 billion trees in 2023 as part of their 10 Billion Tree Tsunami campaign. The environment program will follow the success of a previous reafforestation campaign dubbed the Billion Tree Tsunami last 2014. In 2020, Pakistan’s forest cover was only 4.8% of its total land area. If the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami program is successful, we expect it to significantly restore Pakistan’s green landscape. The campaign is also designed to increase forestry employment and protect the country’s natural resources. Pakistan records more than 1 billion trees planted as of June 2021, giving the campaign a great headstart.

India’s Record-Breaking Tree Boom

India is consistently increasing its forest cover by more than 2,260 square kilometers for over three years. The latest figure accounts for deforestation activities, making the expansion seem insignificant compared to the other projects. However, a local tree-planting effort in Uttar Pradesh last 2016 led Indians to plant 50 million trees in one day, officially breaking Pakistan’s 2013 record of approximately 850,000 trees. The country broke its record a year after the same initiative organized thousands of volunteers in Madhya Pradesh to plant more than 66 million trees in just 12 hours! This initiative is a national action after India’s response to the Paris environmental agreement.

The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall is an international tree-planting initiative led by Sub-Saharan countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Participating nations are planting trees in the designated Great Green Wall area, an 8000-kilometer wall across the continent, to increase the arable land in the region bordering Africa’s Sahara Desert. Those countries also invest in this agroforestry initiative towards the region’s sustainable ecological development.

Tree Planting FAQs

What actions are taken to encourage the population to plant new trees?

The most significant driver of tree-planting volunteer programs is national governments’ and large-scale NGOs’ recognition and involvement. As the government and its population acknowledge the threat of deforestation, they approve and implement policies, projects, and investments to promote reafforestation. As a result, billions of trees are planted worldwide in 10 years or less.

How many trees are planted globally every day?

Recent data suggests that humans are planting about 1.83 billion trees every year, clocking in at around 5 million trees daily.

What if everyone in the world plants a tree?

The world currently has more than 8 billion people. If each one plants a tree, we can add 8 billion more trees to the planet. While there are tree planting initiatives that plant significantly more, encouraging each person to plant a tree is a giant leap towards sequestering carbon emissions and helping cool the planet.

Is there a country without any tree?

All countries in the world have at least one tree. But four countries have no forest cover. That includes Qatar, Oman, San Marino, and Greenland. Those countries couldn’t meet the World Bank’s definition of a forest. That’s why they are classified with zero percent forest cover.

Summary

The global population is taking proactive measures and massive initiatives to reforest the Earth. While statistics show that logging activities and deforestation aren’t slowing down to a halt, our tree-planting initiatives are expected to make an impact on carbon sequestering and reforestation. One way to participate in this global initiative is responsible and sustainable tree removal and pruning. You can ensure a guilt-free tree removal and tree pruning service with Trees Down Under. Our arborists will do their best to preserve your tree’s strength and health. We’ll only remove the tree once we determine it brings more harm than good to you and your family. Let’s continue working together to make the world a greener and more sustainable place.

Check out Tips Tree Planting for more information and resources on tree planting and gardening.