The award-winning conservation charity Trees for Life got its bid to plant 100,000 trees this year under way today, with the first 1,000 saplings going into the soil in the Highlands.
Thirty one international students on the four weeklong Ecovillage Training Course held at the Findhorn Foundation completed the inaugural planting. With the students coming from countries as diverse as Madagascar, Burma, Brazil and Scotland, this action was emblematic of UNEP’s aim to encourage people globally to plant trees.
Trees for Life’s Founder and Executive Director, Alan Watson-Featherstone, said: “We’re inspired and delighted to expand our tree planting this year, to help meet the UNEP target of a Billion trees in 2007. This marks a major step forward for our work to restore the Caledonian Forest, and I am really pleased to see the students getting involved, as they will take the message of just how important it is to plant native trees out into the wider world with them.”
The 1,000 Scots pines were planted today in the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, which contains one of the best remnants of the original Caledonian Forest, and is managed by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). Trees for Life has been working in partnership with FCS there since 1989, and the charity’s volunteers will continue the tree planting effort in the coming weeks.
The UNEP campaign has captured the imagination and commitment of people around the world, with the planting of 563,000,000 trees pledged so far. Governments, civil society organizations, farmers, local authorities, children and youth, the corporate sector and the public at large are encouraged to enter tree planting pledges on the UNEP website.
1. Trees for Life is a pioneering charity in ecological restoration. It aims to restore the Caledonian Forest to an area of 1,500 square kilometres in the Highlands west of Inverness. Today only 1% of the original Caledonian Forest remains.
2. Further details about the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
3. The Glen Affric National Nature Reserve contains the largest extent of least-disturbed native woodland in Scotland and is the third-largest remnant of the original Caledonian Forest. Covering almost 15,000 hectares to the west of Inverness, it is managed by Forestry Commission Scotland for the conservation and restoration of the forest and other natural ecosystems there.
4. Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Executive's forestry department. It manages almost 667,000 hectares of national forest and other land owned by Scottish Ministers, supports other woodland owners with grants, felling licences, regulation and advice, and advises Ministers on forestry policy.
5. The Ecovillage Training is a capacity building programme, designed to provide a practical forum for learning and developing action plans. The training promotes the transference of tools and techniques for creating sustainable community in the fields of ecological building, renewable energies, cooperative socio-economics, organic food production, conflict facilitation, global communication, fundraising, eco-restoration and conservation.
6. Photographs accompanying this Press Release will be available from 4pm today.