“Forests are the best nature-based solution to climate change,” Wes Saffar from the US Conservation Organization of American Forests
A plan to plant 3 billion trees by 2030 to combat climate change and biodiversity loss has been announced by the European Commission. They aim to grow 600 million trees per year in order to achieve this. This will increase the forest coverage in Europe, promote biodiversity and help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Farmers will play a vital role in the reforesting strategy. Through incentive payments, the EU hopes to get local farmers on board with costs of planting and maintenance of foresting some of their lands.
Critics of the plan say that the EU should not only be focusing on planting new trees, but they should also seek to protect existing forests. According to European Commision statistics, 13 million hectares of forests are being destroyed globally each year. That’s about the area of Greece being deforested every year. This exploitation of natural resources is mostly due to industrialized farming and the production of goods. For example, 15% of deforestation is due to the production of toilet paper, according to the Natural Resource Defense Council.
In response to this, the European Commission has also come out with the Forestry Strategy for 2030. This plan aims to “improve the quality and quantity of forests in the EU.”  These plans all make up the overarching European Green Deal, which aims for a reduction of 55% of carbon emissions by 2030 and complete carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Olive Tree Project collaborates and organizes planting events in the Puglia region of southern Italy.
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