The third phase of the China E-Tree Programme, a web-based platform to mobilize resources and public participation for tree planting, was launched today at a ceremony in Beijing to commemorate the UN International Year of the Forests and in celebration of China's Arbor Day tomorrow.
The E-Tree programme is a multi-partnership initiative involving government agencies, the private sector, media and civil society in tree planting activities in western China, which has a fragile environment and large poor population. Donations collected online will be sent to the poor farmers living in the drought-hit areas of western China as a means of combating desertification and alleviating the poverty.
Launched in 2009 by UNEP in collaboration with the China Green Foundation and Fujian Southeast TV, the China E-Tree programme has helped more than 16,000 impoverished families in western China and has resulted in the planting of nearly 10 million Sea-buckthorn trees covering an area of more than 5,000 hectares.
The 3rd China E-Tree Progamme was co-organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the China Green Foundation, Fujian Southeastern TV and Taobao.com. Senior officials, including Zhang Siqin, former Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference , Zhu Lieke, Vice Minister of China's State Forestry Administration, Wang Zhibao, Chairman of the China Green Foundation, as well as Chinese celebrities and media participated in the launching ceremony. Also present at the launch was Zhang Shigang, representative of the UNEP China Office, who delivered the opening speech during the event.