The European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) have published a data tool – MapMyTree – so that all organisations can join the pledge of planting three billion additional trees by 2030, register and map their planted trees and to count towards the EU target.

As part of the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 commits to planting at least three billion additional trees in the EU by 2030, in full respect of ecological principles. This would increase the EU forest area and resilience, enhance biodiversity, and help with climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Stop biodiversity loss

Commissioner for the environment, oceans and fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: "Our promise to plant three billion additional trees is all about planting the right trees, in the right place, for the right purpose. It is one part of our efforts to fight climate change and stop biodiversity loss. We now have a map, and a new counter to check the progress. Associations, NGOs and cities can all report their trees. Three billion is a big number – but together we can make it a reality!

EEA executive director Hans Bruyninckx said: "Forests will play a key role in Europe’s efforts in nature restoration and climate change mitigation and adaptation. With the MapMyTree tool, the EEA uses its core expertise in environment and climate data to help monitor progress towards the EU’s three billion tree pledge."

Forests are a key part of the solution to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. The pledge of three billion trees will be carried out with a long-term planning and monitoring scheme ensuring that the trees are planted, and allowed to grow over time. Only trees that benefit biodiversity and the climate, and that are additional, can be registered on the platform.

Organisations using the platform must sign a declaration of honour requiring that the data they provide is correct and that they respect the principles of the initiative. The commission’s role will be to facilitate, motivate, count and monitor the progress. In spring 2022, the platform will open to everyone, so every new tree that fulfils the requirements can be counted.