The Irish government has proposed over 8,000 hectares – or 19,768 acres – of new forestry every year in a bid to plant over 440 million trees by 2040.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
The popular age-old saying rings true now more than ever with the Earth reeling from global warming, plastic pollution, climate crisis, and every other detrimental environmental factor. With the Amazon burning recently, one can't help but notice how we are clearly running out of time in terms of conservation and leaving a safe and green world behind for the next generation.
With many countries, like New Zealand and Ethiopia, taking the initiative in tackling the climate crisis, another nation has come up with an ambitious plan to save our planet from deteriorating any further. Ireland has come into the fray by aiming to plant around 22 million new trees each year until 2040, which will bring the total around 440 million, solely to tackle climate change.
“The climate action plan commits to delivering an expansion of forestry planting and soil management to ensure that carbon abatement from land-use is delivered over the period 2021 to 2030 and in the years beyond,” a Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment spokeswoman told The Irish Times.
“The plan sets out key actions to be taken by the Department of Agriculture. The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year. Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million.”
The Irish government published the plan on June after proposing to have 8,000 hectares – or 19,768 acres – of new forestry every year. However, they never mentioned the numbers of trees that were set to be planted at that time.
We want many more trees in Ireland, as part of our plan on climate action. 440 million is a huge number but it’s achievable if all landowners plant just some of their land. We are willing to make it financially worthwhile. https://t.co/MmX2sGqXM7— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) September 2, 2019
“Taking decisive action to confront climate disruption will be a major challenge to every dimension of our society, but the benefits are huge – warmer homes, cleaner air, a sustainable use of the world’s scarce resources, more connected communities, authentic values, and quality jobs in enterprises which can compete in a decarbonized world,” the government said in June, as reported by the Huffington Post. “This is everyone’s journey.”
The Irish Times also reported that even before the project took shape, there was opposition from farmers, who are worried about keeping aside some of their lands to meet the government’s targets of the number of trees planted. However, the government is hopeful that the new climate plan will not be affecting the country’s economy when compared to what climate change can actually do to humanity.
Many countries have realized that it is indeed the need of the hour to grow trees and one among them is Ethiopia. On July 29, people in Ethiopia planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours on July 29 as part of the "Green Legacy" initiative. The reforestation project spearheaded by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is now believed to be a world record, according to officials.
We need a national tree planting initiative. If Ireland and Ethiopia can plant millions of trees in short periods of time, we can get in on it too.— Bryan William Jones (@BWJones) September 2, 2019
Imagine what a jobs creator that could be. https://t.co/EupjLkJdkl
India had held the previous world record for the most trees planted in one day -- which was around 50 million in 2016. There is no stopping Ethiopia when it comes to planting more trees as the national “Green Legacy” initiative is aiming to grow over 4 billion trees this summer.