One Billion Trees Initiative
Forests are critical to the health of the planet. They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers. Greenhouse gas emissions reached a record high of 55.3 Gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2018. According to UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report, the Earth’s ability to have a two-thirds chance of keeping climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius means that we have to reduce emissions by 55% between now and 2030. At current emission levels, our “carbon budget” for the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit will be depleted before 2030.
Forests are an essential part of the solution to tackle climate change and biodiversity collapse. Healthy forests are also important for jobs and sustainable livelihoods through forest products and activities such as conservation and restoration.
The initiative is aimed at enabling corporate ambition and action for forests to reverse deforestation and reach the scale of change the planet needs. The project will facilitate a cross-industry alliance of companies committed to forest leadership and impact. This project is in pilot phase and based on the outcomes, the next steps shall be decided.
The initiative intends to mobilize the state’s forest department officials in three states recommended by the NITI Aayog, India. By collaborating with diverse non-government bodies and the forest officials in the state of Punjab, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, the project team are planning to bring the aspiration of 1 billion trees in India to reality. This will mark a colossal contribution to the 1 Trillion Tree initiative that involves a multi-stakeholder effort to support efforts to conserve, restore, and grow 1 trillion trees around the world. The project spanning over several years will usher in a mindset change among the citizens of India and will set an example for other states to follow for tackling the climate change and biodiversity crises.
The hub has partnered with NITI Aayog, Govt. of India, to plant the Billion trees in India’s 112 Aspirational Districts, a programme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister a few years ago.
In the pilot districts, Shapers are working with technical, logistical, and fundraising partners to drive tree plantation and growth in the districts. This largely involves, among other things, - i) studying the land, soil, and water quality; ii) determining local species (essential for high survival rate); iii) identifying the best-suited plantation techniques (Miyawaki vs. Conventional); iv) monitoring and maintenance; v) Fundraising.
The project also involves a key local livelihood component. The hub is working with local governments, forest departments, and regional organizations to help identify farmers and daily wagers who could potentially supply saplings as well as plant trees, as part of the State’s livelihood schemes.
The pilot cities for 2021 are Moga (Punjab), Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Ranchi (Jharkhand). In Ranchi, Shapers have partnered with the Usha Martin Foundation for large scale afforestation, as Ranchi is one of the top-performing districts identified by NITI Aayog.
The Navi Mumbai Hub is collaborating with district admins & local governments with NITI support to identify land and access to electricity and water.
Moreover, the hub is working closely with regional technical and fundraising partners, forest departments, to decide on the plantation size, technique, monitoring and maintenance responsibility, fundraising required.
Following the planning, sapling plantation drives will be executed in cooperation with the forest departments and the growth/sustenance of the saplings will be tracked over the years to follow.
Short & Long-Term Goals/Results:
The project team plans to grow 1 billion trees by the end of 2030 in India and reach out to multiple states in total for the cause. This will require fundraising for the project spanning over 10 years through online fundraisers and corporate partnerships.
So far, the hub has held five 3-hour sessions with the forest department officials and two detailed discussions with NITI Aayog officials. The hub aims to launch training of the on-ground forest authorities in the designated plantation areas in Moga, Ranchi and Jaipur by the Q3 of the year.
Partners and Affiliations: 1t.org; NITI Aayog
- State government authorities
- Forest Creators