Written by: Kimberly White
Victory has a new meaning for Arsenal footballer, Héctor Bellerín. The football star has teamed up with One Tree Planted, a non-profit focused on global reforestation efforts.
Through the partnership, Bellerín has pledged to plant 3,000 trees for every Premier League victory.
“For every game we win this season I will plant 3,000 trees to help combat the carbon emissions issues we have,” Bellerín said on Twitter.
The Arsenal defender urged fans to get involved by planting a tree through One Tree Planted.
“As a child growing up in Barcelona, I spent a lot of my time with my grandad in his garden planting trees and playing in forests so it’s an issue very close to my heart. When I saw the great work that One Tree Planted do, not just the planting of the trees but within the communities as well, I knew it was something that I wanted to get involved in,” said Bellerín. “I hope that by doing this and using my platform, others will see how important it is to look after our world and donate to a cause which really affects us all.”
According to One Tree Planted, all donations from Bellerín’s campaign will plant trees in the Amazon Rainforest.
Forests are a vital part of climate change mitigation. A recent study hailed reforestation as “the best climate change solution available.” The study found that , with the exclusion of existing trees and agricultural and urban areas, there is room for an additional 0.9 billion hectares of forest canopy cover. The extra canopy cover could potentially store up to 205 gigatonnes of carbon.
Natural climate solutions, such as reforestation, are often overlooked. Only 2 percent of climate change mitigation funding is spent on natural climate solutions. Each year, 18.7 million acres of forest are lost around the globe- a trend that the world needs to deviate from to combat climate change.
Tree planting campaigns from governments, NGOs, companies, and civil society have become more frequent in recent years. In October 2019, YouTube stars and social media influencers came together in a massive online campaign to plant 20 million trees. Recently, Ethiopia made headlines for its latest installment of the Green Legacy project. The reforestation project spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed aims to plant 5 billion tree seedlings this year.
‘It’s great to know that there are champions for the environment in the sports world. Héctor’s passion for nature goes beyond words to make a real impact on the ground and help us plant trees where they’re needed most,” said Diana Chaplin, Canopy Director of One Tree Planted. “This will have a lasting benefit for people, nature, and wildlife for many years to come.”