The new EU Forest Strategy includes a roadmap to planting 3 billion trees by 2030, on top of an estimated 3 billion that are expected to grow on their own by the end of the decade.
The new EU Forest Strategy for 2030 is part of the Fit for 55 package presented by the European Commission a week ago. It is one of the leading initiatives of the European Green Deal and builds on the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.
The strategy will contribute to achieving the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, the Commission said, adding that forests are a key part of the solution to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
The roadmap sets out clear criteria for tree planting, counting, and monitoring
The Commission has also presented a roadmap of its action to implement the pledge to plant 3 billion additional trees by 2030 in the EU, which sets out clear criteria for tree planting, counting, and monitoring.
The roadmap is supplemented by a website, a timeline for how additional elements will be developed, including a tree-counter, guidelines for biodiversity-friendly afforestation and reforestation, and platforms for the exchange of best practices.
The roadmap envisages the development of an online tree monitoring platform by the first quarter of 2022, as well as an EU tree counter that will provide an estimated number of additional trees planted between May 2020 and the current day.
Pakistan has 3 billion trees project, Saudi Arabia 50 billion
The Commission will also identify a list of stakeholders and organize a conference or meeting for all of them once the guidelines and visual identity for the pledge are out by the first quarter of 2022.
Countries all over the world are already implementing similar actions. Pakistan has an ecosystem restoration project – the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Project – launched in 2019 while Saudi Arabia has also initiated a project to plant as many as 50 billion trees.
EU funding mechanisms will be used to cover tree planting costs
As the success of the EU’s 3 billion pledge will greatly depend on grassroots initiatives, the Commission calls on individuals, landowners, associations, companies, and public bodies such as cities and regions to participate in the initiative.
For financing seedlings, workforce costs for planting, ground preparation and aftercare, some EU funding mechanisms will be made available. but the Commission expects private-sector financing to also play an important role.
Europeans will have the possibility to follow the progress and keep track of the tree planting through a website and an online interactive map.
The new forest strategy envisages four types of action
The main types of action envisaged by the new forest strategy are: protecting the remaining EU primary and old-growth forests, establishing legally binding nature restoration targets for forests, creating payment schemes for forest owners and managers for the provision of ecosystem services, and planting 3 billion additional trees by 2030.