Global warming was a new word to me when I was in 6th grade. Astonishing with the consequences, I asked my science teacher, “if we students of our school could plant trees?”. The idea was to plant around 500 trees. Unfortunately, the response came anomaly. Indeed, it was pragmatic challenge for us to get a space and the survival of 500 trees, it was out of thought of me as a child. Later on, we ended up planting only five trees, out of which two of them survived. Now when I visit my school, looking at the two trees it feels exuberant. It brings thoughts to my mind, what if we had planted 500 trees and managed to save maximum out of the 500?
Later, planting and advocacy as my fervid fascination, I started volunteering with Plant-for-the-Planet by running workshops about Climate Justice which is called Academy (9-15-year-olds) and also planting trees with school children in Nepal and India since 2012. Wangari Maathai and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched Plant-for-the-Planet in January 2007, as part of the Billion Tree Campaign, which was led by 9 year German boy Felix Finkbeiner and later on; transformed into the Trillion Tree Campaign. Planting trees was always a problem as it needs appropriate space, species and regular nourishing to make sure it grows properly. Working broadly, I figured out planting trees with highest survival rate is rather an engineering.
Since 2007, Plant-for-the-Planet has already planted around 14 billion trees across the globe. This was possible with the support from donations, government, corporates and sponsors. However; the goal is to plant One trillion trees as we still have enough space to plant those trees without compensating agricultural lands; those trees can absorb one-fourth of human made carbon emission and it is regarded as one of the cheapest ways to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degree Celsius.
Plant-for-the-Planet is planting one tree in every 15 seconds at Yucatan Peninsula in an area of 22,500 hectares and planning to restore another 68,000 hectares of land all at the rate of just 1 euro per tree which includes nursery and taking care with the survival rate of 94%. With this, they can plant 100 million trees by 2030. However; planting trillion trees is still not practical with just this project. We realized the need of 10,000 similar projects of that size to restore trillion trees.
With contrast to these major challenges, Plant-for-the-Planet came up with an application named Plant-for-the-Planet app to create a common platform among tree planting organisations to fulfil the target of trillion trees campaign launched in 2018 in Monaco. Succeeding the campaign, the app was launched recently in September 28 at Global Landscape Forum New York following the Climate Action Summit of the UN Secretary General. The app has currently more than 18,000 users and have already donated more than 900,000 trees through this portal with an average donation of around 45 USD.
For the first time ever, some of the best community-led tree planting projects from 20+ countries came together to deliver a massive boost to the world’s reforestation efforts. Now, with the Plant-for-the-Planet App, everyone can plant trees worldwide with just a few clicks. The best part is all the money raised goes directly to the tree planters. Plant-for-the-Planet do not take any percentage of the donations, it just provides the platform to make the more afforestation possible. Through my journey, I met many people with similar mindset who wanted to plant trees but were short of ideas or time, this app could add value to what they wanted to do.
Seven young people from Plant-for-the-Planet Foundation have released the ‘Plant-for-the-Planet App’, which allows anyone and everyone to plant trees around the world. The App is part of the Trillion Tree Campaign, which is contributing to global reforestation and climate mitigation efforts. The App is focused on sharing their tools with all other projects as well to help scale up reforestation efforts. It is very transparent with Open Source and Open API where users can plant trees starting from 10 cents to 20 USD.
The lead developer, Sagar Aryal; 24 from Nepal has been planting trees with Plant-for-the-Planet for more than ten years, as one of 81,000 youths from 73 countries. Aryal said “With the late Wangari Maathai in mind, I’ve poured all my heart and soul into this app for the past two years. I hope she would be happy and proud of us. You don’t have a sapling at hand? Or want to avoid getting dirt under your fingernails? The Plant-for-the-Planet App is your way to help nature recover by selecting from 50 hand-selected reforestation projects from developing countries. The benefits of tree planting are not just for nature, they are also a vital source of income for poor communities generating with employment opportunities. Many more projects are coming.”
The app is very user friendly to operate, all you need to do is select your favourite project and make the donation. The trees are planted for you, no excuses. Each tree adds to the World Tree Counter. Moreover, there is no extra fees, hidden charges involved for the tree-planting NGOs, donors or anyone else. This app helps to implement the excellent goals of the Bonn Challenge – a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030 – by creating a positive chain reaction. More than 10,000 people signed up to the app in the development phase.
In addition, UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, said “wide-spread restoration requires us to reach out to large numbers of people, cost-effectively and quickly.” She said “Apps like Plant-for-the-Planet can go a long way in boosting nature-based solutions for climate action, livelihoods and sustainability.”
However, with the help of the app, user can plant their own virtual forest which also allows you to see where all your donated trees were planted. You can also register trees you’ve planted with photos and locations and even gift donated trees to others as well. In addition to this, you can start a tree planting competition among schools, with colleagues or friends. Moreover, Tree planting organisations can also register to ask for donations through the app. We believe to create new “Forbes List” which will rank people by planted trees.
Lucidly, this should probably be the finest used tech supporting to make this world a better place to live in. The Plant-for-the-Planet App is available for Android and iOS users and also can be accessed through the WebApp (www.trilliontreecampaign.org). The 2.0 version is expected to be included with a feature that enables users to watch donated forests grow using satellite images.
Note: The original version of the article can be found at this link.