Planting a tree is not only a support for greenery but also a most effective response to climate change. Climate change is prevalent because of the excessive carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. 

Afforestation is a crucial countermeasure to control climate change as the trees remove carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere. It can aid us in a fight against ecological disruptions and hazards.

Many countries and independent bodies have started extensive afforestation programs to tackle the exacerbating climate change. 

With a special mention of Lebanon forest restoration as a featured image, below are the ten most extensive afforestation programs worldwide.

Table of Contents

1. India mass tree planting 

Indian women plant saplings on the outskirts of Allahabad, India | Photo Credit: Rajesh Kumar Singh
Project / Event  NameIndia mass tree planting 
Number of trees Planted25 crore sapling
Area Covered79 square miles 
Performed byGovernment bodies and volunteers 

Maybe the first tree planting efforts that went viral all over the social media, the heavy tree plantation in Uttar Pradesh of India holds a record in the Guinness book of world records. 

On the auspicious occasion of Van Mahotsav, an annual one-week tree-planting festival in India, the state’s chief minister announced a program to initiate the plantation of 25 crore saplings ( an immature tree with a slender trunk) in a single day.

The state administrations made sure to hold the program harmoniously by issuing guidelines to district officers. 

The end goal is to increase the forest cover to 235 million acres by 2030, a promise made by India in Paris in 2016.

The activities are carried out as a response to the global deforestation crisis. Global mass afforestation shows the world that we as humans are united together to face climate change and do anything in power to bring the earth in its pristine form.

The festival is carried out every year. Around six hundred million saplings have been planted under the leadership of Yogi Anand Nath. 

There’s even a contest named plant trees, win rewards where the state government rewards a few people who have uploaded pictures of them planting to the forest department website. 

2. The digital international (#TeamTrees)

Mr. Beast and other YouTubers joining hands-on plantation | Photo Credit: Youtube/Twitter
Project / Event  NameTeam trees 
LocationCalifornia, Kenya, and southern India 
Number of trees PlantedTwenty million trees 
Performed byYoutubers 

Mr. Beast and other YouTubers initiated a plan to plant twenty million trees by 2020. They named the project TeamTrees. 

The goal was not just to plant the trees but also to care for and nurture them in the process.

Usually, the plantation is often government-funded. However, it was a unique project. The project runs on public funding. 

Each dollar funded is equal to a sapling. This way, the public will feel a contribution to this substantial ongoing project.

October 23 was the project’s first anniversary. The team proudly announced that they could plant 4.6 million trees in one year.

They also mentioned that the ongoing covid scenario and massive wildfire gave them a tough time to achieve their missions.   

Nevertheless, they overcame those challenges and impediments to fulfilling their promises. 

Support from all over the world made the project successful, as per the project leaders. Renowned personalities came down to support the campaign. 

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla/SpaceX, showed a generous donation of one million trees while Tobias Lütke, CEO of Shopify, donated one more tree than musk. 

The support of The arbor day foundation made the project achievable. The project’s progress on every milestone is captured in one of Mr. Beast’s videos.

3. Tree planting in turkey 

Man planting saplings on-premise of Turkey Youth Foundation | Photo Credit: Daily Sabah
Project / Event  NameBreathe for the future 
Number of trees PlantedEleven million trees 
Area CoveredNorthern cities of turkey 
Performed byGovernment and volunteers 

Turkey is facing a lot of issues regarding desertification and wildfire threats. To combat the problem, the government of Turkey has made some plans and is working restlessly on it.

Turkey made a plan to begin the mega planting projects. The initiative they named breathe for the future.

On November 11, 2019, volunteers managed to plant eleven million trees in more than 2000 locations within their country as a part of a government initiative. The government also announced the day, November 11, as the national forestation day. 

During the day, in one northern city, the tree planting campaign set the Guinness world record for the most saplings planted in one hour in a single location of 303,150. 

When he started the project in Ankara, Turkey’s president said that the nation encourages a new, green lush turkey by planting millions of trees.  

The project didn’t get much publicity, and the country’s new goal is to plant seven billion young trees by the end of 2023. However, only ten percent could survive out of the three hundred saplings. 

According to the country’s agriculture and forestry trade union, the trees were planted incorrectly, and there was insufficient rainfall to support the saplings.

4. Mass planting trees in Ethiopia

Plantation on Ethiopia Prime Minister office | Photo Credit: CNN
Project / Event  NameEthiopia mass planting
Number of trees Planted23 million 
Area Covered1000 plantation sites 
Performed byVolunteers, with the help of the government 

After the world-breaking record of India in tree plantations, Ethiopia wasn’t going to stand and watch. 

Just after India got its Guinness world record, Ethiopia started planting more and more trees, eventually setting a new world record. 

The forest cover of Ethiopia was declining exponentially- from a declining rate of 35 percent in the 20th century. However, in the 2000s, the declining rate was 4 percent, much less than a decade ago. 

This feat was possible because of the Ethiopian government’s awareness campaign that always conveys the importance of forests to its citizens. 

Lately, the Ethiopian government has come to afforest the barren lands. The campaign was named the green legacy initiative, which they are doing. 

They are picking up innumerable volunteers, around 23 million of them, and placing them at more than 1000 plantation sites. 

Together they managed to plant more than 350 million saplings in just 12 hours. The Ethiopian government claims to be carrying out the activities to combat soil erosion, drought, biodiversity declining, water, and air pollution. 

However, the results were not appreciable compared to a tremendous effort at the plantation. 

The rainfall after the plantation immediately washed away one-third of the seedlings, and the remaining that grew did not develop well. 

The green legacy initiative’s mission was to transform Ethiopia into an environmentally friendly economy. 

5. Forest 2020 plantation development and assessment initiative

Project / Event  NameForest 2020 plantation development and assessment initiative
Number of trees Planted600 ha of fast-growing forest 
Area CoveredAll over Canada 
Performed byCanadian government 

While greenhouse gases were creating havoc in the world in the early 2000s, Canada was searching for a way to mitigate the climate issues caused by greenhouse gases.

Luckily, they came up with a cost-effective idea to plant more and more trees. Though the plan was not an immediate game-changer, it can ultimately help eradicate such problems slowly and steadily. 

In 2003, the government of Canada formed a four-year program called the forest 2020 plantation development and assessment initiative.

The plan involved planting 6000ha of fast-growing forest on non-forested lands countrywide. 

The primary purpose of the plantation was to help increase carbon sequestration and mitigate greenhouse emissions and consider the economic and investment attractiveness of afforestation. The efforts somehow showed substantial results but were far from their destination. 

Canada has continued this policy since a long time ago. It is solemn to continue it until they develop new technology on carbon storage.

On December 14, 2020, Canada’s minister of natural resources declared that the federal government agreed to invest 3.16 billion dollars in planting two billion trees over ten years. 

The primary purpose of this massive investment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 12 megatonnes by 2050. 

6. China afforestation rules 

Hangzhou city road on the forest | Photo Credit: CGTN News
Project / Event  NameChinese afforestation laws
LocationAll over china
Number of trees Planted35 billion
Area Covered79 million hectares 
Performed byChinese citizens 

China stands at the top with the country with the highest afforestation rate globally, and this is not because of the program and campaign held last year or a decade ago. 

The history of afforestation in China dates back to forty years ago. While every other nation was oblivious about the effect of deforestation, China had already suffered the repercussions of massive deforestation. 

To not suffer from the agony continuously, China decided and formulated a law in 1981. The law stated that every school student over the age of 11 should plant at least one tree per year. 

Even with such efforts, China’s forest area per capita is much lower than the international average. Between 1990 and 2015, China planted an enormous amount of new forest out of any country. 

China did not hesitate to do more to increase greenery in the country. In 1999, the government started a grain for the green program with more than 100 billion dollars, planting 35 billion trees over 12 provinces. 

The amount of planted forest was recorded at 79 million hectares in 2015. Another coup that china achieved was awarded UN champions of the earth for foresting over 13,800 hectares of saline soil through the Shandong ecological afforestation project

7. Great green wall initiative

Africa’s great green wall initiative | Cartography Credit: Steven Bernard
Project / Event  NameGreat wall initiative 
LocationThe Sahel in the west to Djibouti in the east of Africa
Number of trees Planted116,179,367 in total
Area Covered44590 acres
Performed byGroup of countries 

The Sahel region in north Africa is another place suffering from desertification. More than 20 countries took the initiative to plant a wall of trees covering the entire Sahel to combat the issue.

Initially planned to combat desertification, now executed to hold back the Sahara’s expansion. 

The program has evolved into much more now that it promotes water harvesting techniques, greenery protection, improving indigenous land use techniques to create green and productive landscapes across north Africa. 

The project’s genesis was when north Africa suffered heavily from natural resource degradation and drought. 

The project is a well-thought plan to improve food security and help communities adapt to climate change. 

The eight billion-dollar investment in the project is to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. The project will also provide job opportunities.

With the project’s completion, it is speculated that it will absorb 250 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.

The BBC reported that the project was best in Senegal in 2017, while as of March 2019, fifteen percent of the wall is completed with significant achievements in Senegal, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. 

As per the records, Senegal planted over 11 million trees while Nigeria has restored 4.9 million ha of degraded land. 

However, in September 2020, data leaked out stating that only 4 percent of the whole wall was completed, completely refuting the statistics published in 2019. 

8. The northern forest 

Time to create Northern forest | Youtube Channel: The Woodland Trust
Project / Event  NameNorthern forest 
Number of trees PlantedAt least 50 million 
Area covered 30 million acres 
Performed byUk government 

Five community forests encompass into one. What a brilliant proposal it is! The northern forest is a put forward plan forest in England proposed to contain five community forests. 

The woodland trust welcomed the plan, the largest woodland conservation charity in the united kingdom concerned with creating, protecting, and restoring native woodland heritage. 

Initially, the British government funded the project in January 2018. The project aims to plant fifty million trees by 2032 to promote the timber industry, leisure opportunities, and environmental benefits. 

While the project’s initial funding was 5.7 million pounds, the project’s cost is estimated at 500 million pounds. 

Although the price is affluent, let’s not forget the economic benefits estimated at 2.5 billion pounds. 

9. Adelaide urban forest initiative

Project / Event  NameNature incites 
LocationAdelaide, South Australia 
Number of trees PlantedThree million trees 
Area covered 300 different locations 
Performed byLocals and government 

Mike rann proposed an urban forest initiative in 2003 to plant three million native trees and shrubs by 2014 on 300 project sites across the metro area. 

The government allocated a considerable amount of funding for this project. They also encourage local participation in the afforestation programs.

Thousands of Adelaide citizens supported the project and cared to join in community planting days on sites including parks, reservoirs, transport corridors, schools, watercourses, and coastlines. 

Genetical integrity was an issue in mind during the plantation: thus, they planted only native trees.  

The project’s primary purpose was to make the city beautiful and livable. Improving air and water quality was one of the missions of the project. 

The project reduced Adelaide’s greenhouse gas emission by 600,000 tonnes of CO2 gas.

The result of this project was conspicuous to the Australian government. Thus, the government agreed to spend more than 1.5 billion dollars of taxpayer funds on climate change projects to protect natural habitats. 

Under the supervision of Tony Abbott, the Australian government spent nearly 62 million dollars to plant 20 million trees. 

10. Plantation in europe 

Project / Event  NameEuropean green deal 
Number of trees PlantedPlanting on progress 
Area Covered44,360
Performed byNext-generation EU recovery plan 

Europe had so many historical forests. The forests represented the prehistoric and aboriginal times of Europe. Over time, they lost the richness of the woods. 

Since 1990, the European Union has encouraged farmers or organizations to afford the lands and even pay them. 

They offer grants to turn farmland into the forest and pay for the management of the woods. 

A European program from 2000 to 2006 had contributed more than 1000 square kilometers of land for afforestation.

Another such program in 2007 had contributed to bringing the pristine form of European jungles. 

With such programs working every year, Europe’s forests grow eight thousand square kilometers per year. 

From 1990 to 2005, Iceland, Ireland, and Spain had the first, second, and third fastest afforestation rates in Europe, respectively. 

A total of 44,360 square kilometers were afforested. In 1990 the forest-covered 26.6 percent of the Spanish territory, while in 2007, the forest-covered 36.6 percent of the total region. 

Wrapping up 

Every country is tackling climate change by planting more trees, which is hugely commendable. 

However, ninety percent of plants of the total plantation are going in vain because of unforeseen circumstances such as rainfall, lack of care, etc. 

What is the initial step for a hundred percent efficiency? Plans on paper first; every activity must have a proper plan so only we can execute it. 

After performing the projects, the irrigation and supply of nutrients are other steps to be taken seriously. Only then do we achieve what we intend to alleviate climate change effects.

On the one hand, such outstanding initiatives are merging the globe for green earth, but still, there are countries still cutting down trees even today and have been suffering from severe deforestation issues.

Check our article on countries with specific deforestation issues in 2021 and nations with long-term deforestation consequences.

(Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Saurav Khadka, with his A levels in computer science from Saipal Academy, owns a keen desire to know more about the environment. He wants to preach his knowledge to others by learning through his hobbies; reading, writing, traveling, and watching movies. He believes sharing his insight regarding a sustainable environment will undoubtedly generate positive perceptions in the people.