Programme des Nations Unies pour l'Environnement - Plantons pour la Planète : la campagne pour un milliard d'arbres : 21 septembre 2009 (en anglais)

21 September 2009

Statement by H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco

The Billion Tree Campaign has been a huge success and I am very happy that we are well on the way to reaching the new UNEP goal of planting 7 billion trees by the end of 2009.

As such, a strong message will be conveyed at the Copenhagen conference. Through this campaign, of which I have the honour of being co-patron together with Professor Wangari Maathai, we have seen that it is possible for States, civil society, the private sector and individuals to act together in defence of the same environmental cause.

Today, more than 20 % of all greenhouse gas emissions are still attributed to deforestation. My Foundation, conscious of the urgency to act, supports several projects to protect the primary forest and its population in the Amazon, the Congo Basin and Indonesia. Within the framework of this campaign we are also carrying out reforestation initiatives in the damaged zones surrounding Monaco.

The planting of thousands of trees by the Principality in 2009 alone is in keeping with the spirit of the Billion Tree Campaign, whilst emphasising the need to protect biodiversity.

For this planting initiative we have only used indigenous tree species and were careful to respect the characteristics that constitute the wealth of our Mediterranean forest with its endemic fauna and flora.

I hope that this dynamism initiated by the Billion Tree Campaign will continue and that it will soon reverse the current trend of forest decline in developing or lesser developed countries.

The forest is a guarantee for the stability of our climate, the wealth of our biodiversity and the quality of our water. In short, the forest holds the key to our survival.

We should protect it. We should replant it where it has disappeared. Let's keep up our efforts and let's continue working for the Billion Tree Campaign.

For more information (UNEP)