On March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States. As the first and only President of the United States to ever serve four terms, Roosevelt implemented many policies that have had lasting effects till this very day.
Among his policies, the CCC is one of the most enduring. Not only does it create more jobs during the Great Depression, but it’s also a major step toward environmental conservation. At a time when climate change wasn’t even a thing, both environmentalists and the unemployed appreciated this policy greatly.
But CCC isn’t the only policy with a good environmental impact by any government. Take a look at five other groundbreaking tree-planting programs, policies, and mandates from governments around the world.
The US: Roosevelt’s Tree Army, or CCC – the Civilian Conservation Corps.
A knowledgeable forester, FDR refers to himself often as the “grower of trees.” Even before his political career, Roosevelt was planting trees alongside the Hudson River.
During his presidency, President Roosevelt is most famous for his New Deal program. Among his policies, the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, is a stellar point. It aims to conserve natural resources for the US while relieving the poor and revitalizing the US economy during the Great Depression.
Dubbed at the time “Roosevelt’s Tree Army”, the CCC helps restore eroded soil due to outdated agricultural and logging practices. The program also leads to the improvement of national state parks and soil erosion prevention.
At its peak, the CCC employs up to 3.5 million young American men. Young men who were once members of FDR’s Tree Army still survive today. Some even attempt to run their own CCC replications.
As one of Roosevelt’s most successful policies, the CCC provides the model for the US’s future conservation programs. In fact, the current US president Joe Biden aspire to revive this program during his tenure.
The Philippines: The Graduation Legacy For the Environment Act
Instead of creating voluntary tree-planting programs, the Philippines makes it a civic duty. Since May 2019, it is required by law for each Filipino student to plant 10 new trees if they want to graduate.
The bill, called the “Graduation Legacy For the Environment Act“, has been implemented for 2 years. A resounding success, the bill helps restore some of the Philippines’ lost canopies.
While it can be considered a hostage situation, the bill also works. It is on its way to ensuring that over 175 million trees will take root every year. It is hard not to commend lawmakers for passing a bill that raises Filipino youths’ climate change awareness and ethics.
Even though something as mundane as tree planting should not be mandated by the government; the bill is a necessity. Because, surprisingly, people are not willing to go green. Regardless, this commitment to tree-planting is highly commendable.
The African Union: the Great Green Wall (Africa)
Just like the impenetrable Great Wall of China, the Great Green Wall is to prevent desertification of the near-Saharan regions. It aims to grow 8,000 km of arboreal and green corridors across the entire width of Africa.
According to its plan, the Great Green Wall will spread across 12 African nations, from the Atlantic coast of Senegal to the east coast of Djibouti. Started in 2007 by the African Union, the Great Green Wall has now reached 4% of its intended length. But the project is still growing and is already a considerably vast area.
As a response to climate change and natural resource degradation, the Great Green Wall program aims for a greener landscape in Africa. It also promotes food security via water harvesting techniques, greenery protection, and indigenous land use.
In 2021, at least 21 countries have tree-planting programs related to the Great Green Wall in action. Bare land restoration is the most recent success in Burkina Faso and Senegal. Ethiopia also recorded 5.5 billion seedlings planted on 151,000 hectares of new forest and 792,000 new terraces.
Lebanon: Law No. 558/1996
Lebanon has a healthy forest cover of 13,1%, but that doesn’t mean the country can afford to lose any. Lebanese forests are national assets. It helps the local community with landforms, land cover, climate, soils, and vegetation.
Yet, Lebanon suffers from great deforestation as a result of wars, forest fires, and unsustainable practices. As such, the Lebanon Parliament decided to revise its Law No. 558 in 1996.
The revision puts all forests in Lebanon under the category of conserved forests. This effectively puts all forests in Lebanon under government protection, limiting deforestation activities.
With its other reforestation projects and tree-planting programs, Lebanon aims to restore its forests to their natural states. This includes finding new ways or green technologies to improve their reforestation efforts.
Wales, UK: Plant!
A tree-planting scheme set up by the Welsh government in 2008, Plant! The goal is to plant a tree in the region for every Welsh baby born. In 2014, the Welsh government expanded the program by planting an additional fruit tree for every baby in Uganda as well. This helps ensure food security for the local community.
This is in response to the Welsh commitment to meet their climate change goals. More specifically, the Welsh government is aiming to create a national forest for Wales by working in tandem with other tree-planting programs.
The project, celebrating its 13th birthday soon, has planted over 300,000 trees in Welsh woodlands and over 140 hectares of new woodland so far. This is equal to the creation of 15 kinds of wood in Wales.
The ambitious program also aims to expand its five tree-planting hubs to 20 more across the Welsh territory.
Pakistan: Plant for Pakistan
The government-backed program is also known as the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami. Among its activities, the Pakistan government is organizing its own tree planting day.
In an effort to offset the negative effect of climate change. On Pakistan’s National Tree Planting Day, on August 18, each citizen is encouraged to plant 2 trees. Coinciding with Pakistan Independence Day, it brings a sense of unity to this environmental initiative.
Since its creation, the plan has created 10 million jobs. Due to Pakistan’s current shortage of sufficient numbers of trees, currently one of the least in the world, the program is indeed timely.
Even though it has been almost a century since Roosevelt’s Tree Army is formed, the policy is still seen in federal and state conservation movements. But the US is no longer the only one with an awesome government-backed conservation policy. More countries are coming up with their own tree-planting programs to fight climate change.
Some countries are bravely embracing a greener approach to their countries, despite naysayers. With more countries taking a more proactive approach to tree-planting, the world is on its way to its cooler day. When tree-planting is encouraged or mandated, the world’s forests are on their way to recovery.
As a tree-planting initiative, Tenere is also contributing to tree-planting and reforestation efforts worldwide. You can take a peek at our monthly tree-planting donation update.