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News article20 March 2024Directorate-General for Environment2 min read

Commission conference to boost effort to plant 3 billion trees by 2030 for more resilience against climate and environmental threats

Rooting for #3BillionTrees conference

Ahead of International Day of Forests, today the European Commission is organising the ‘Rooting for 3 Billion Trees’ conference in Brussels, also available to livestream. Tree planting organisations, NGOs and authorities from across the EU are invited to share best practices and provide recommendations on how to achieve the target of 3 billion additionally planted trees, part of the EU biodiversity and Forest Strategy for 2030.  

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said:

In 2021, we pledged to plant at least 3 billion additional trees by 2030, in full respect of ecological principles. Today already 44 organisations from all 27 Member States have reported trees into our system, sometimes even several millions of trees in one go. This level of reporting shows that we are serious about our pledge. We do not settle just for words, we want results on the ground. This approach distinguishes our pledge from many other, similar initiatives.

At the event, Irish Minister for Environment Pippa Hackett will report her country’s additional trees into the pledge. The Belgian EU presidency, represented by Minister Céline Tellier, and French Deputy Secretary General for Ecological Planning Frédérik Jobert will outline how their countries aim to contribute to the target. So far, Belgium is the leading EU country when it comes to reporting newly planted trees with more than 5 million trees, followed by Czechia and Portugal. In 2023, France committed to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. 

Thematically, the event also pays particular attention to natural regeneration – or “rewilding” – as an ecologically valuable way of reforestation. Natural regeneration also counts for the EU pledge. To emphasize that point, the Commission and Brussels region symbolically planted 9 trees in the park of Laeken earlier today. This selective planting of climate-robust species such as small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata), European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) will, in a few years, turn an intensively managed field into a biodiverse, semi-wooded area.  

The other major theme on the agenda will be reforestation after forest fires. Due to climate change, the intensity and frequency of wildfires is rapidly increasing. Monoculture and even-aged forests, of which there are many in Europe, are particularly vulnerable. Reforestation into a more diverse forest ecosystem will better make our forests more resilient.  To support Member States and practitioners, in 2023, the European Commission adopted  new EU guidelines on biodiversity-friendly afforestation, reforestation and tree-planting.  

Today’s event is part of the worldwide #ForOurPlanet campaign, a communication campaign from the Commission and the European External Action Service drawing citizens’ attention to the importance of tree planting, whether you live in a forest, the countryside or a big city. The campaign runs until 31 March and calls on citizens to take actions, big or small, to bring nature back into their lives. 

To follow the webstream of the event (Wed 20 March, 14:00 – 17:30): Rooting for #3BillionTrees conference - European Commission ( 

More information 

3 Billion Trees ( 

For Our Planet campaign for nature & climate kicks off - European Commission ( 

Forests - European Commission ( 


Publication date
20 March 2024
Directorate-General for Environment

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