GCI supporting 1 Heart 1 Tree initiative at COP21

Green Cross is joining forces with 1 Heart 1 Tree, an innovative program combining art, technology and ecological awareness to mobilize citizens from around the world and help make their voices heard in Paris, while allowing them to make a difference by planting a tree in an environmentally sensitive region, thanks to a small donation.

The 1 Heart 1 Tree concept is simple: Individual donors download an app to their phone from http://ow.ly/UbRGF, which reads their heartbeat and draws a digital tree based on that rhythm, accompanied by a name or message of the person’s choosing.

All of the trees recorded before 3 December will then be projected onto the Eiffel Tower during the Paris climate conference, representing each “heart” that contributed to the initiative. Their donation will support the planting of a real tree in an environmentally sensitive region of the Ivory Coast.

Those donating after 3 December will miss being part of the Paris show but they will still support reforestation projects by creating their personal tree with their name or personal message.

1 Heart 1 Tree aims at connecting us with nature, through technology. Our heartbeat will generate another living being, a tree, thus sealing the bond between us and the environment. It shows that we can all inspire the future, while proving that our technologies can help reconnect us with nature. Everyone can feel responsible and take action for the future generations!” says Naziha Mestaoui, the artist and founder of the 1 Heart 1 Tree initiative.

A reforestation project deployed by Green Cross Côte d’Ivoire, in partnership with an NGO called Gaya, is one of the eight initiatives selected to benefit from 1 Heart 1 Tree donations. These donations will provide for the seeding and planting of native tree species such as cedrela, gmelina, frake and framire. They will also support the three years of aftercare to secure the trees’ survival.

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.