Dear Prime Minister/Premier/President:
RE: Caribbean Tree Planting Week
We write to you because the Caribbean is in grave danger due to the effects of climate change, increased further by the current pandemic. We firmly believe that planting trees will help and that your joint leadership in recognizing a Caribbean Tree Planting Week will strengthen our efforts to significantly increase tree planting across the Caribbean and, in so doing, accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 13, 15 & 17, and national developmental goals.
All science demonstrates that trees are a vital part of our ecosystem and are essential to creating resilience. In addition to adding to our beauty, culture, and comfort, trees provide natural defense against rising temperatures. They provide shade, cooling and reduction of air pollution in urban areas, shoreline protection from erosion, stabilize the soil to reduce flooding, and provide a local food source. Most importantly in our fight against climate change, trees reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This is supported by the 2018 recommendation of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to plant 1 billion hectares of forests to help limit global warming to 1.5° C by 2050.
For this reason, the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance (CariPhilAlliance) launched the Caribbean Tree Planting Project (CTPP) in February 2020, with the ambitious goal of planting one (1) million trees across at least ten (10) Caribbean countries/territories. Since then, despite setbacks from the pandemic, we have actively engaged multi-stakeholder groups, especially youth groups, in twenty (20) Caribbean countries/territories, selected Tree Planting Ambassadors in twelve (12) countries/territories and held a regional tree planting competition and supported many national activities to successfully achieve 820,560 trees planted regionally in 2020. Click here for more information
To keep this momentum going and expand this important work, your national leadership is essential to strengthen our collective efforts. Specifically, we ask that your government recognize the 2nd week in July this year asCaribbean Tree Planting Week (CTPW), with a proposed aim to establish CTPW annually for the Caribbean. This designated week will provide the opportunity for everyone in the Caribbean to take an active role in restoring and protecting our environment by planting trees and other related activities. Where tree planting is not ideal, the CTPW will focus on education and awareness on planting trees; with a focus on knowledge preservation on native trees and plants, along with conservation of the biodiversity of forests and natural vegetation necessary for building resilience to Climate Change!
Now, more than ever, we need your joint leadership as a force to powerfully show Caribbean Unity at the highest levels of government across the English, Spanish, French and Dutch speaking Caribbean. We sign this letter in full confidence that you will positively respond to the demonstrated willingness of Caribbean people, at home and in the Diaspora, to work together to plant trees, build resilience, and strengthen capacities, as we seek to adapt and to mitigate the existential threat of Climate Change.
Help us to Plant Trees and Save the Caribbean.
For more information about the Caribbean Tree Planting
Project: Click here