“It was an mind-blowing success, beyond all our expectations!”
– Naziha Mestaoui
The 1 Heart 1 Tree initiative, which gave donors the chance to have their personal e-trees projected in light onto the Eiffel Tower during COP21, will now support the planting of over 55,000 trees in reforestation projects all around the world.
A Green Cross project in Côte d’Ivoire – in partnership with the NGO Gaya – is one of the seven that will benefit. Since its independence in 1960, the Ivory Coast has lost all but three million of its 16 million hectares of forest. The forests around the seaside town of San Pedro have been the hardest hit by deforestation. The now-protected areas of Dakpadou targeted by this project are in Niégré, about 100km outside San Pedro. The project will allow the reforestation of up to 28 hectares of land formerly used to grow cocoa and for various other plantations, a total of more than 23,800 trees – all local varieties. They will be planted by local citizens, primarily along riverbanks.
Working hand-in-hand with local populations is important to build their connection with the forest and dedication to the project. Over time, this exercise will enable the regeneration of local forest cover, the protection of threatened parkland, and the development of a stronger ecosystem in the region.
© UN Photos/ Rick Bajornas – Naziha Mestaoui and Ban Ki-Moon at the launch of One Heart One Tree initiative, on November 29th.