An initiative that stemmed from the core message of James Cameron's "Avatar" has been more successful than even organizers had hoped. Here's the release from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment:
Washington, D.C. – Jan. 19 - Earth Day Network announced today that it has exceeded its one-million-tree goal for The Avatar Home Tree Initiative with the planting of 1,006,639 trees on six continents in 2010. The resulting reforestation, sustainable development and increase in environmental awareness will last far into the future. The project was made possible through the generous support of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and its "Avatar" Blu-ray & DVD. It was accomplished through the tireless work of 17 partner organizations. Over 31,000 individuals were directly involved in the massive planting effort.
"In creating this project, we wanted to make every tree count. That´s why we selected ecosystems around the globe where we believed trees were most crucial to protect, and partners we were confident would work the hardest to get strong healthy trees in the ground and nurture them to maturity. While our requirements were high, in the end, the results of this project surpassed our expectations," said Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day Network President.
"Planting trees fights global climate change and is the essence of service inspired by Earth Day. We want to thank our partner Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment for making this meaningful project possible."
"At the core of "Avatar" lies an inspiring message of empowerment and self-discovery, said Mike Dunn, President Worldwide, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. "Our program to plant one million trees resulted in fans around the world fervently getting involved to promote a healthy, sustainable planet. That alone has made this initiative a huge success."
Earth Day Network reports that the trees planted for the Initiative protect some of the world´s most bio-diverse and threatened forests; restore acres destroyed by fire, flood and wind; enable local and regional governments to rebuild communities devastated by disaster; engage tens of thousands of children and youth in learning about the environment; create career opportunities in the green economy; and provide hands-on service opportunities to volunteers of all ages.
In one of the most compelling projects, in Haiti, Trees for the Future worked with local citizens under the Avatar Home Tree Initiative to address urgent needs to reforest degraded hillsides, produce fruit and biodiesel fuel and establish intensive hillside farming practices. Over 500,000 trees have been planted in Haiti.
Within the U.S., the Avatar Home Tree Initiative supported city reforestation efforts in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, shaping urban tree canopies that improve air quality, provide shade, cool the ground, save energy, attract birds and other wildlife, beautify landscapes, grow free fruit for residents and even increase homeowner property values.
Each of the million trees planted under the Avatar Home Tree Initiative has been added to Earth Day Network´s Billion Acts of Green campaign, a global service project to log one billion sustainable actions in advance of the Rio+20 Earth Summit in 2012. Additionally, the trees planted in this initiative have been pledged towards the Billion Trees Campaign, a worldwide tree planting initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme.
The tree planting was also a part of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment´s parent company News Corporation´s Global Energy Initiative, a company-wide commitment to reduce impacts on climate and engage global audiences with environmental issues.
Trees were planted in 16 countries under the following partnerships: