More Trees in China

As part of yesterday’s announcement about China’s commitment to decreasing its carbon emissions, Chinese president Hu Jintao pledged that his country would plant forests across an area the size of Norway .  Whether you’re among the critics who don’t believe China’s commitment was specific enough, or among supporters who consider it a positive first step, you’ve got to admit – that’s a lot of trees.

As a company with a penchant for tree-planting (although we have yet to take on any projects of Norway proportions), we’re encouraged to see reforestation at the top of China’s environmental task list.  Rapid population growth and over-use of land has contributed to the issue of desertification all over the world — including in China, where traveling dust storms create widespread air quality problems and natural resources have grown scarce for local residents.

Over the last 6 years, Timberland employees in Asia have partnered with GreenNet, a Japan-based NGO, to plant trees in Inner Mongolia’s Horqin Desert – an area that originated as grassland and has over the course of time become a desert the size of Switzerland .  Our partnership with GreenNet is expected to yield 980,000 trees planted by the end of 2009 … well on track to meet our goal of planting one million trees in the Horqin by 2010 .  (You can read more about our tree planting efforts in Earthkeepers’ “Horqin Chronicles” blog series.)

Do we think planting a million trees in Inner Mongolia is going to solve Asia’s environmental issues?  No more than planting 500 in Barcelona … or 10 in the Dominican Republic … or one in your own backyard.  But we believe any action is better than inaction … and that cumulative effort, whether on the scale of a city block or a forest the size of Norway, contributes in a meaningful way to creating climate solutions.

  • Nnbogue

    I was looking on-line for a Christmas gift for my boyfriend when I clicked on Community. Wow…I had no idea that Timberland was such a conscious company. I am an environmentalist myself and certainly will be shopping Timberland more now that I see your commitment to the environment. Thanks!

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