An innovative campaign – Text TREE” which allows people to make a $5 donation via their cellphone bills to fund tree-planting in Green World Schools near Mombasa, Kenya.
On Earth Day, 2011, Green World Campaign created a ‘Text2Give’ project on ten jumbo screens in Times Square with spectacular motion graphics of forest foliage and wildlife. Spectators were able to text ‘TREE” on their cellphones to plant 5 trees near Mombasa, Kenya as part of the Green World Schools program.
The APE grant will help Green World Campaign to expand its outreach to artists and the public via social networking; to create dynamic maps and interactive applications; to upgrade its website and graphic assets; and create new educational tools.
The website will eventually include detailed project updates, data and mapping; more interactivity and online community; a compelling Green World Map that can be used for public display as well online, and other features (volunteer Drupal programmers welcome!). We also plan to tweak the Treemometer, and to develop a more sophisticated and engaging mobile app and games.
More people will be enabled to directly help ‘ReGreen the World’ and to see how their donations are restoring the economy and ecology of some of the world’s poorest places, planting new trees and supporting eco-agriculture, creating sustainability, improving biodiversity, increasing rural employment, and sequestering CO2.
It is now estimated that 2 billion hectares (5 billion acres) of degraded land worldwide are suitable for “mosaic” restoration that harmonizes ecological and rural community needs. John Holdren, co-chairman of the US White Council of Science and Technology Advisors, has written: “The best known means for removing CO2 from the atmosphere is growing trees… Ending current deforestation and improving other land-management practices, combined with aggressive reforestation and afforestation efforts (including widespread restoration of degraded land), might achieve 20 or 25 percent of what is required [for greenhouse gas emission reduction].”
Green World Campaign media, arts, and entertainment initiatives will spread awareness of the potential of tree-planting and healthy soils to mitigate climate change using Forest Landscape Restoration models. Because the GWC is also doing on-the-ground work in East Africa, this transcends the usual awareness campaign by enabling the public to directly support the ecology and economy of some of the world’s poorest places.
The goal of our project is to catalyze public participation in one of the great tasks facing global citizens in the 21st century: to ReGreen the World.
CAMPAIGN UPDATE MARCH 2014
Green World Children’s Choirs
Two songs about trees and peace were written for Green World Campaign by 8-time Academy Award- and Grammy-winning composer Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Mermaid,” et. al.) and theatrical lyricist Lynne Ahrens (“Ragtime,” “Rocky”). One of these, “Tree by Tree by Tree,” was designed to be sung in a round by what we are calling “Green World Children’s Choirs.” The song has been performed and videod by the combined choir of the Tenby Schools, eight largely eco-schools in Malaysia. “Tree by Tree by Tree” will also be performed at a gathering of 500 eco-spiritual activists at Iowa’s Prairiewoods Retreat on March 28, 2014 (http://ow.ly/u6OWf), live-streamed from there to thousands more viewers and videotaped for online access. More children’s choir performances of the song are slated for a Green World Campaign benefit in Fall, 2014 at Riverside Church. This will be arranged and conducted by Joel Martin, founder of Jazzical and former co-director of the Harlem Boys Choir, as well as producer of the “Footsteps of Mandela” memorial concert. (Joel is also planning to produce a Green World Campaign benefit CD.). Other performances are being planned for the World Compassion Festival in 2015, part of the Compassionate Cities movement inspired in part by GWC founder Marc Barasch’s book The Compassionate Life (www.compassionatelife.com). The purpose of the events is to inspire the public, raise funds for treeplanting by communities living on severely degraded land in Kenya, and raise awareness for GWC’s vital mission: “To ReGreen the World in one generation, for all the generations to come.”
Trees for Peace: In Spring of 2013, Green World Campaign started a “Trees for Peace” movement to avert violence in the 2013 Kenyan elections. A Swahili slogan was created, Panda Mti, Vuna Amani, meaning, Plant Trees, Harvest Peace. A beautiful design was commissioned from J.D. Davis, an art director/designer featured in The Tipping Point, that was used in T-shirts, brochures, posters and wall-paintings that spread throughout the country via Green World Schools, Kenyan Scouts, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Matuga Arts Troupe, and was carried in street marches on banners, directly reaching tens of thousands of people. The late Kenyan Nobel Prize-winner Wangari Matthai observed, “Planting trees to symbolize peace is a widespread African tradition,” and children spread a declaration of peace throughout the country: “This tree I plant and care for/is a promise to nurture peace in my community./I plant peace…you plant peace…/and we will harvest peace…together!” The campaign spread to several other schools around the world, notably the Hawaii’s Punahou School, President Obama’s alma mater, and plans are to greatly expand the “Trees for Peace” concept internationally.
Green World Map
A consortium was established of designers, scientists, and advertising and marketing experts to create and propagate a “Green World Map” that will show global “regreening,” creating a counterpoint to the negative news we so often hear about the destruction of the environment. Alliances have been formed with scientists at NASA’s Earth Observatory; with the advertising firm Agency in Australia (agency.sc ); and with David & Goliath and Enso advertising agencies in Los Angeles, along with scientific advisors from Yale School of Forestry and Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. As well, a partnership was formed with NationBuilder.com, which created the electoral maps and outreach that helped Obama win the 2008 campaign. As well, discussions are taking place with personnel at Google. This project will undergo further stages of development and iterations based on this foundational work. Plans include a graphically exciting interactive map for use by Green World Schools and on the GWC website, and in“Text TREE” concerts. A poetic short film based on timelapse reforestation footage from NASA and other landsat imagery sources is also in development.