On Tuesday night during the State of the Union address, President Trump declared, “To protect the environment, days ago, I announced the United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together government and the private sector to plant new trees in America and around the world.”
The One Trillion Trees project was launched in January of this year at the World Economic Forum. According to its website, “1t.org is a World Economic Forum initiative, designed to support the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, led by UNEP and FAO. 1t.org offers a platform for leading governments, businesses, civil society and ecopreneurs committed to serving the global trillion trees community.”
The 1t.org project is an online platform to bring together reforestation projects worldwide – such as Trillion Trees, an effort to bring together funders with reforestation projects around the world, and American Forests, a program to bring forests back to life in North America.
Efforts to reforest damaged land and to plant trees everywhere possible are necessary, and critics are correct in stating that large forests with only one type of trees could be problematic, and planting trees in areas they are not suited for is unwise, but planting trees is an easy, viable solution to help mitigate climate change.
Change Food challenges the One Trillion Trees Project to take it one step further. We need more than one trillion trees – we need millions of FOOD PRODUCING trees and shrubs to be planted as part of this project. We need to mitigate climate change AND finally end the hunger crisis that’s plagued the planet for centuries. We need to galvanize communities to plant trees in public spaces that produce fruit and nuts and food that community members can help themselves to for free. We need to Plant Eat Share.
This is not far fetched – in fact, it’s happening in pockets around the world. The city of Copenhagen, Denmark, has announced the planting of fruit trees and bushes in public spaces for anyone to enjoy. Atlanta, Georgia, has planted a 7.1 acre food forest for local residents to use and gather food from. Fargo, North Dakota, has the Little Free Garden program, where neighbors are planting vegetables in their front yard for neighbors to enjoy.
Change Food is bringing together all these programs onto an online platform and has started to promote the great work communities are doing to feed their own – all in an effort to promote this successful work and to encourage other cities, towns, and neighborhoods to do the same. Let’s also join together with reforestation efforts to make sure that food is included in all those trees being planted.
It’s time to understand that food is a human right. It’s time to Change Food. Who’s with me?
Diane Hatz is founder and executive director of Change Food®, working toward a healthier food system for people, animals & the planet. Find out more via our newsletter and Change Food Now Facebook group. #changefood @changefood