1B Trees Take Root to Help Save Planet

Ethiopia, Mexico lead UN agency's climate-change fight
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2007 7:39 PM CST
"An initiative to catalyze the pledging and the planting of one billion trees has achieved and indeed surpassed its mark," said UNEP chief Achim Steiner said in a statement.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A UN-sponsored initiative exceeded its goal of having one billion trees planted in 2007, AFP reports. Developing nations are leading the charge: Ethiopia tops the list with 700 million plantings, and Mexico, Kenya, Rwanda, and Myanmar all made substantial contributions. The UN Environment Program said it had confirmation of 1.56 billion trees planted, out of pledges for 2.24 billion.

“We called you to action a year ago and you responded beyond our dreams,” said Wangari Maathai, a Nobel laureate who inspired the initiative. A UNEP spokesman, asked why developing countries seemed most enthusiastic, said: “(These communities may) recognize more clearly the impact of climate change already on the way … as well as the importance of trees in combating global warming."