GUEST COLUMN: Seeing the trees through the forests by planting 1,000 trees per global

GUEST COLUMN: Seeing the trees through the forests by planting 1,000 trees per global youth
Special to Toronto Sun
October 26, 2019
October 26, 2019 6:30 PM EDT
Lauren and Kaitlin Grierson at Sharpe's Bay, British Columbia, summer 2019. Submitted photo
Felix Finkbeiner, 21, is a German environmentalist who founded the tree-planting organization Plant-for-the-Planet.
And Greta Thunberg, 16, is a Swedish student who sailed across the Atlantic to raise global awareness of the risks posed by climate change.
We are 15-year-old Canadian twins with an idea for global collaboration to get a trillion trees into the ground.
As twins, all we know is collaboration. We have been collaborating since before we were born.
Story continues below
We are also part of the greatest collaboration generation — a generation was born into the digital era. We collaborate across boundaries by sharing, posting, messaging and retweeting.
We can look to the forests as perhaps the best example of collaboration. The old growth nourishes the new. The bacteria, fungi and root systems collaborate too.
In 2016, we started planting trees out of frustration for the lack of progress on climate change and to offset our carbon footprint. We had moved from Vancouver to Toronto and missed the trees of the West Coast, so we set a launch goal to plant 1,000 trees and to learn a bit about forests. We worked with Forests Ontario, which has a goal to plant 50 million trees.
We quickly surpassed our goal of 1,000 trees and set our new goal at 1,000 trees each. While 1,000 trees may be a very small number, it gave us an idea that’s pretty big: What if there were 1,000 trees planted for each of the world’s youth?
There are 1.2 billion global youth aged 15-24. If 1,000 trees were planted for each of the world’s youth that would exceed the UN supported goal of 1 trillion trees.
In Canada we have a maple leaf on our flag. Our greatest strength may lie in our forest potential. A recent study in the journal Science indicates that one of every 10 hectares of global tree restoration potential is in Canada. With 78 billion hectares of restoration land available, our partner, Forests Ontario, believes this gives Canada the capacity to plant at least 117 billion trees.
In collaboration with the United Nations Nature Based Solutions Workstream and Forests Ontario, the Global Forest Project invites all countries, governments, organizations and individuals to contribute land, money and labour to plant new forests.
On Sept. 20-25, the UN meets in New York to discuss climate change. We issue a call on behalf of all youth to global leaders to follow youth’s lead and collaborate across geographic, economic, political, religious and language boundaries to plant a Global Forest — 1,000 trees for every global youth.
— Toronto high school students Kaitlin and Lauren Grierson are co-founders of TreesCO2, Canadian Young Champions for Nature and Co-Ambassadors of Ontario’s Green Leaf Challenge.
Ron in Regina
#2  Top Rated Post
Where are these Trillion trees going to be planted? Just curious.

Justin told Greta that if he won this week he was going to plant 2 (or was it 3?) Billion trees in Canada, but I don't recall where that was. Can't plant them where it's already forested, and can't plant them where it's current useful agricultural land, so where? In the urban settings that aren't already treed? In the medians and along all the highways in the nation (people would see them there I guess, if not much else)? Is he going to return Vancouver back to its original state? Again, I'm just trying to picture this.

Similar Threads

Do Trees Communicate?
by Cliffy | Feb 4th, 2015