We are responding to God's call to address the climate change crisis through a large-scale tree-planting campaign. Mennonite Men is locating land, forming a network of partners and resources, assisting with tree planting, and receiving contributions for this program.
We invite men's groups, youth groups, congregations, universities, nonprofits, and other groups to participate in this campaign.
While Mennonite Men is coordinating this campaign, we invite all genders to join the campaign as well.
A Critical Problem
Nothing threatens our global village more than climate change. Deforestation is a major cause of this crisis as tree and forest loss continue, dramatically reducing the earth's most important means to sequester carbon and cool the planet. Global tree cover loss continues at an alarming rate of nearly 12 million acres each year.
The impacts of this on our biosphere are severe: extinction of animal and plant species, soil erosion, desertification, food loss, forest fires, droughts, floods, increased greenhouse gasses, and global warming.
Poor and vulnerable populations are already suffering from these negative impacts. And the problem is certain to become much worse as environmental degradation and desertification dramatically decrease food production, access to clean water, and sustainable environments. According to the United Nations, "the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever, affecting the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide." These distressed living conditions will cause mass migrations and other acts of desperation.
Planting and protecting trees are critical solutions to the life-threatening problem of climate change. The United Nations lists these as top solutions in its call to action, as trees are the best and most cost-efficient means for sequestering climate-warming carbon dioxide. Trees not only sequester carbon but are critical for land restoration, biodiversity, and sustaining human life.
The importance of trees in God's design for the earth is seen in the fact that they are featured in the very first and last chapters of the Bible.
The woodland garden of Eden represents what its Creator intended on earth: beauty, biodiversity, and abundance, where trees give life for all with God. We have been called by God to care for the earth. And tending trees that they may play their important part in God's design is essential in our stewardship.
A rabbinical teaching says if people claim the world is ending and the Messiah has come, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. As stewards of God's creation, we are called to address the crisis of climate change—caring for the earth, its trees, and its people.