The U.S. is the first region to join this community. In August 2020, when the U.S. Chapter launched, 26 U.S.-based governments, companies and nonprofit organizations collectively pledged to plant or prevent the loss of 855 million trees, in cities and large forest landscapes here and abroad. As of April 2021, that number has grown to 55 pledges totaling 49.3 billion trees! (See the latest pledge numbers by visiting the U.S. 1t.org chapter website.) They, too, pledged to take on supporting actions, such as investing in mapping technology and carbon finance, worth billions of dollars.
The pledging entities are part of a quickly growing movement to create healthy and resilient forests in the U.S. Recent wins for the movement include the Great American Outdoors Act, a historic conservation bill supported by both political parties, which was signed into law in August. And the REPLANT Act, which will help bring our national forests back to life, was introduced in the House and Senate in July, also with bipartisan support. The U.S. Chapter of 1t.org is the perfect way to hold onto and grow that enthusiasm, as it instantly brings together a community of like-minded people committed to action, not just talk.
The chapter is led by American Forests and the World Economic Forum. They help people create pledges, then provide them with the tools and technical assistance needed to bring the pledges to life at the unprecedented scale and speed necessary to stop deforestation and forest degradation. In the U.S., the greatest threats to forests are climate change-induced wildfires, droughts, diseases and pests. Sprawling development and a century of suppression of natural fires also has left many forests overgrown and unhealthy.
World Economic Forum also leads the global initiative, announced at the Forum’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.