In the European Union’s Nature Restoration Plan, set out in the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy to 2030: bringing nature back to our lives (part of the European Green Course), one of the key commitments by 2030 is to plant three billion trees to increase the number of forests and improve their health and resilience. The trees will be planted in the territory of 27 EU member states within ten years.
This will help increase the area of forests in the EU, increase their resilience and role in reducing biodiversity loss, and mitigate climate change.
In the EU, 300 million trees were planted each year from 2010 to 2015. If we double this figure to reach 600 million trees a year, then by 2030, an additional 3 billion trees will be planted.
Trees in forests, agricultural forests, rural and urban areas should be planted and grown following ecological principles; it is not recommended to plant trees in areas of high natural value, such as swamps and meadows; it is forbidden to plant invasive species.
Trees can be planted by any interested citizen, landowners, associations, companies and government agencies are encouraged to take the initiative.
The European Commission will count and monitor progress. It will provide political and technical support, communication and labeling, and will work with the European Environment Agency on a convenient counting and monitoring platform called Map My Tree.
The Commission’s website also stated that this task will not solve the climate crisis independently and will not overcome the loss of biodiversity; it is only a supplement to broader environmental measures. Measures to improve the quality and quantity of EU forests have been published in the EU’s new forest strategy.
The European Commission’s website has published a roadmap for the planting of 3 billion trees, which includes the task of publishing guidelines for afforestation and reforestation, consideration of agroforestry and trees in cities, participation in planting, distribution information and branding, development of a monitoring platform, tree counter.
The Commission has proposed a dedicated EU forest strategy for 2030 to improve the quantity and quality of EU forests. It includes a roadmap outlining how the Commission will help to achieve the 3 billion additional trees pledge.
Why plant 3 billion other trees?
Forests are a crucial part of the solution to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. Planting 3 billion additional trees across the EU by 2030 will
· increase the area of forest and tree coverage in the EU
· increase the resilience of forests and their role in reversing biodiversity loss
· mitigate and help us adapt to climate change
In the EU, it is estimated that almost 300 million trees have grown each year between 2010 and 2015.
The aim is to double these numbers so that we reach 600 million trees grown per year. This means we would have 3 billion different trees by 2030 than the “business as usual” scenario.