The Arbor Day Foundation has helped plant trees in more than 50 countries worldwide, but planted in Laos this past spring for the first time in the organization’s history.
The Foundation partnered with the Global EverGreening Alliance and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to revive forests of greatest need in the Southeast Asian country.
“By combining efforts with some of the world’s most respected environmental organizations on the planet —Global EverGreening Alliance and WWF — we ensure the benefits of trees reach the areas of the globe where they’re needed most,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“Restoring forests in Laos is vital to establishing a healthy environment for people and wildlife in Southeast Asia and our team is excited to help serve this urgent need,” he continued.
The project will consist of 30,000 trees planted in two National Protected Areas, Xe Sap and Xe Pian.
Both unique ecosystems serve as a home to a variety of plant and animal species—many of which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Xe Sap and Xe Pian also provide critical support to their surrounding communities which rely on natural resources.
This reforestation project will cover nearly 250 acres of land in Laos and is expected to be completed in August 2024.
The effort in Laos aligns with the Arbor Day Foundation’s goal to plant 500 million trees with a focus in forests of greatest need by 2027.
“Together, we can work towards restoring degraded forests, recover the lost biodiversity and protect the species at risk of extinction and the areas at risk of degradation. Together, we can build a future where people can thrive and live in harmony with nature,” said Loris Palentini, Country Director, WWF-Laos. “In Laos, we have lost so much forest and wildlife in the last few decades, but there is still hope. If we act now, we can inspire people to protect Lao forest.”
“Forest restoration, including planting a diversity of native tree species in the protected areas where we work, like Xe Sap and Xe Pian, is part of how we have been supporting the Lao Government to reach 70% of national forest cover goal by 2030, while simultaneously creating a healthy ecosystem that benefits local communities,” Palentini added.
WWF first began its conservation efforts in Laos in the late 1980s. The forest has been one of the key conservation programs of WWF in Laos – aiming to strengthen protected area management and promote the sustainable use of forest resources for the benefit of local communities and wildlife.
The Global EverGreening Alliance is an NGO that brings together leading research, technical, environmental and development organisations to build on our shared vision of restoring degraded lands. Functioning as a collaborative platform, the Alliance harnesses our members and partners’ collective strengths, capacities and networks to coordinate, develop and implement massive-scale land restoration programs.
“We are shifting the paradigm on restoration efforts to benefit small-scale farmers and our environment. By collaborating with trusted and committed organizations like Arbor Day Foundation and WWF-Laos we are making a significant impact,” said Chris Armitage, CEO of the Global EverGreening Alliance.
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. With a focus in communities and forests of greatest need, the Foundation — alongside its more than 1 million members, supporters and valued partners — has helped to plant nearly 500 million trees in more than 50 countries. Guided by its mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, the Arbor Day Foundation says it is committed to unlocking the power of trees to help solve critical issues facing people and the planet.