Mobilizing Caribbean Philanthropy to Plant 1M Trees

Commitment by Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance; Jamaica Diaspora Task Force

In 2020, the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance (CariPhilAlliance) and partners committed to leverage a multi-stakeholder network to coordinate and execute the planting and maintenance of one million trees across the Caribbean region. Research estimates that a worldwide tree planting (1.7 billon hectares) could remove two-thirds of all the emissions from human activities that remain in the atmosphere. This presents an opportunity for well-coordinated cross-sector groups to mobilize for mass climate action. Through this commitment, partners will leverage the Caribbean diaspora to engage over 1,000 partners to mobilize public and private sector resources to plant one million trees across at least 10 countries in the Caribbean over two years. The program will also provide climate change awareness and tree planting and maintenance training to at least 10,000 youth to promote leadership and empowerment. By building the capacity of local communities, this commitment will bolster long-term climate change mitigation and the revitalization of natural ecosystems.



Mobilizing Caribbean Philanthropy to Plant 1M Trees



Est. Duration

1 Year

Estimated Total Value



Latin America & Caribbean



Commitment by

Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance; Jamaica Diaspora Task Force

Partner(s) of the Commitment Maker(s)

Trees That Feed Foundation; International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Sandals Foundation; Grace Kennedy Limited; Lasco Chin Foundation; Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals (JIEP); Media Institute of the Caribbean

CariPhilAlliance and partners commit to leverage a multi-stakeholder network to coordinate and execute the planting and maintenance of at least one million trees across the Caribbean during the period January 2020 to June 2021. In addition, this project aims to provide climate change awareness and tree planting and maintenance training for at least 10,000 youth across the Caribbean. A key activity and milestone of this initiative will be a Week of Climate Action (June 1 to 5) in 2020 and 2021 in which partners will organize events and activities including tree planting across the Caribbean.

This project will be carried out through four specific objectives:

(1) Identify partner organizations and key target groups, including members of the Caribbean diaspora. This effort will be carried out through hosting strategic planning meetings and by establishing National Tree Planting Action Teams (NTAT) in at least 102 Caribbean countries that will be supported by a Regional Tree Planting Action Team (RTAT). These meetings will also be leveraged to solicit collaborative pledges in each country to plant an average of one-hundred thousand (100,000) trees per country. The pledges will be announced during the Week of Climate Action on June 5, 2020.

(2) Foster youth leadership and mobilization. This involves NTATs engaging with diaspora youths and national/regional youth organizations to identify youth leaders and includes engaging CARICOM Youth Ambassadors to lead and coordinate activities. This project aims to recruit and engage at least 10,000 youth leaders to be a part of the initiative and network as well as train them on the tree planting and maintenance.

(3) Support farmers, businesses, schools, and other multi-stakeholder groups in planting and maintaining fruit, timber, mangroves, and ornamental trees. This objective will be carried out by coordinating with the Ministries of Agriculture to aid in acquiring trees and with technical assistance. The commitment aims to engage 100,000 people to execute the program. Additionally, through working with local schools, at least 3,000 primary and secondary school students will participate in a hands-on tree planting educational session.

(4) Increase public awareness through a social media campaign by working in schools to design competitions, storytelling events, content, and other creative ideas to mobilize the youth and spread awareness.

March to April 2020: Establish multi-stakeholder partnerships through pledges; Establish web presence; Establish NTATs in at least 10 countries and the RTAT; and prepare national plans for collaborative Tree Planting and related training.

April May to June 2020: Begin execution of plans, including tree planting and maintenance training; Execute Week of Climate Action (June 1 – 5, 2020); Announce signed pledges to plant at least 1,000,000 trees; plant at least 50,000 trees

July to September 2020: Plant at least 150,000 trees

October 2020 to December 2021: At least 300,000 trees planted

January to March 2021: At least 600,000 trees planted

April to June 2021: At least 1,000,000 trees planted

Project Milestones:

March 5, 2020: Official Launch and Social Media Kickoff Event
March 31, 2020: Method to Track Planting Completed and Testing
May 30, 2020: Pledges Confirmed with Letters of Understanding
June 1-5, 2020: Week of Climate Action, 2020
June 5, 2020: World Environment Day, National Media Event - Pledges Announced
September to October 2020: 1st Large Scale Planting Season
November to January 2021: Holiday Planting Activities
April to June 2021: 2nd Large Scale Planting Season
June 1 to 4, 2021: Week of Climate Action, 2021
June 5, 2021: Project Completed, World Environment Day, National & Regional Media Event

NOTE: Each country will have a modified timeline to include their National Tree Planting Day, Labour Day, etc.

Additionally, the RTAT will organize monthly meetings and will monitor and assess developments during the period. A one-year report will be presented at the Annual Caribbean Philanthropy Forum in 2021.


According to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report, under an intermediate low-emissions scenario, it is projected that by the end of this century, the Caribbean region will face an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including a 66% increase in hurricane intensity and a rise in sea level of 0.5 to 0.6m. These impacts pose an existential threat to communities across the Caribbean region as seen in the social, economic, and environmental degradation caused by recent hurricanes.

One recommendation to mitigate climate impacts made by the IPCC is the planting and replanting of 950 million hectares (2.3 billion acres) of forests. Given the massive scale and complexity of this global intervention, collaborative action is essential, particularly in the Caribbean because of the unique vulnerability of small island states.

In the Caribbean, philanthropists, including those in the Caribbean diaspora, are currently underutilized for mobilizing public and private sector support to address climate change. Coordinated efforts among these groups after a climate disaster are often weakened by distrust and limited knowledge and experience with collaborators, leading to the mistargeting of needed resources, oversupply, and overall inefficiency. However, when coordinated effectively, multi-stakeholder partnerships are likely to generate more successful outcomes through strategic, coordinated planning; more effective financing; achieving economies of scale; and sharing high-level knowledge and expertise.

This presents a clear opportunity for well-coordinated philanthropic groups to take part in mass climate action such as tree planting efforts to reduce carbon, revitalize the environment, create sources for food production, foster resilience among vulnerable groups, and more. It also provides an opportunity for youth activism and leadership. Lastly, it responds to a mandate by the UN Secretary-General to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and France’s President Emmanuel Macron to lead a global political initiative to mobilize climate change financing for developing nations and, in so doing, to mobilize private sector support for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Partnership Opportunities

CariPhilAlliance is seeking funding to acquire trees for this commitment and support the cost of maintaining and monitoring. In-kind support of trees, equipment, and supplies is also requested. Additionally, they are seeking technical tree planting support to ensure the survival of trees along. Lastly, partners are seeking implementing partners to pledge trees to be planted to reach target and ensure this project is executed in its limited time frame given the volume of trees. CariPhilAlliance is open to welcoming partners to their extensive Caribbean network as it relates to tree planting as well as other activities implemented by JDTAN, Girls that Code and other partners including ICT, education and agriculture. Outcomes and best practices of the project can also be shared with broader networks.

Progress Reports