Project One Tree: From DiCaprio to Jackie Shroff to Coldplay, a look at prominent green activists

Project One Tree: From DiCaprio to Jackie Shroff to Coldplay, a look at prominent green activists

Deforestation is one of the biggest issues facing the world today and is one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis. To create awareness, News18 Network, India’s largest news network, has launched ‘Project One Tree’, a movement that aims to mobilize every Indian to plant a tree as a measure against climate change. This important movement seeks to create awareness about environmental conservation and promote collective action for a greener, more sustainable future.

Big names from different walks of life have spoken about the importance of tree planting. From attending tree planting events to sharing posts on social media, prominent personalities across the world have tried their best to create awareness about the issue. Let’s take a look at the top Indian and global tree advocates.

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam’ campaign on the occasion of World Environment Day 2024 on June 5. “I have appealed to all my countrymen, people from all countries of the world, to plant a tree with their mother or in her name. I am very happy with the campaign to plant a tree,” Modi said on the radio show Mann Ki Baat.

Launching the initiative, Prime Minister Modi also planted a peepal tree at Buddha Jayanti Park in Delhi. “This morning, I planted a tree in line with our commitment to protect Mother Nature and make sustainable lifestyle choices. I appeal to all of you to also contribute to making our planet a better place,” he said.

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“It would make you all very happy that India has made numerous collective efforts in the last decade that have led to an increase in forest cover across the country. This is great for our quest for sustainable development. It is also commendable how local communities have risen to the occasion and taken the lead in this,” he added.

The prime minister called on people to plant trees in honour of their mothers and share photos online using the hashtag #Plant4Mother.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio is a huge advocate for protecting the environment. His foundation — Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation — works day and night to raise awareness about the importance of planting trees.

A few days ago, the star shared a post on Instagram urging everyone to protect the Philippines’ Masungi Georeserve.

In 2022, a new tree species was even added to the Titanic star in honor of his anti-logging campaign. The tree’s scientific name — Uvariopsis dicaprio — recognizes the Hollywood actor’s work to prevent logging in Cameroon’s endangered Ebo Forest, where the only known specimen of the tree was found.

The Hollywood star campaigned on social media after Cameroon granted logging permission in the pristine nature reserve in 2020. The concession was revoked months later by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, “certainly in part because of his support,” scientists from London’s Royal Botanic Gardens wrote in the online journal PeerJ, citing DiCaprio.

Al Gore

Former U.S. Vice President Albert Arnold Gore Jr. is known for his contributions to the environment. He has actively participated in events and programs aimed at a greener planet.

In one of his Instagram posts, he talked about his “earliest lessons about the environment.” “My first lessons about the environment were on my family’s farm. Learning about the fragile balance of life on this land inspired my work to protect it. This #EarthDay, let’s appreciate the natural world around us and renew our commitment to protecting humanity’s only home.”

Gore, US Vice President from 1993 to 2001, rose to prominence for his climate change advocacy with his Oscar-winning 2006 documentary An inconvenient truthand its 2017 sequel, which argues that the fight against climate change is a moral struggle.

He is a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his climate campaign and chairman of Generation Investment Management, a London-based firm focused on sustainable investments in both the public and private markets and on research.

Jackie Schroff

Be it a red carpet event or a casual outing, veteran actor Jackie Shroff is spotted carrying a plant to promote his initiative ‘Ped Lagao Bhidu’.

The actor has developed a unique way of creating awareness about environmental issues: by wearing a spider plant as an accessory or gifting one to the host or hostess at a social gathering. From public events to weddings and even film premieres, where the who’s who of the film industry dress to impress, Shroff chooses to make a statement by carrying a plant.

He has said that his aim is to create awareness about the benefits of planting trees. “It is said, ‘boond boond se bane sagar’ (small efforts make a big difference). Planting trees should be in our DNA. So wherever I go, I take a plant with me to give to the host. Some people take something else as a gift… Today everyone has everything, but I believe this is more important,” news agency PTI quoted Shroff as saying last year.

Some keep the plants, others forget, but for the 66-year-old it’s the message that counts. “I tell them to keep it in a saucer in the bedroom. I explain to them why it’s important. If the host keeps it, then it’s good, then more people see it and that’s how the message gets passed on,” he added.

For Shroff, it is important to make the present and future generations understand the importance of conserving nature and resources. “It is better if we understand these things now. We do not know how long we will live, but what are we leaving for the next generation? Barren land? We need to address these issues and ask people to plant trees to combat global warming.”

Coldplay

Coldplay’s sustainability initiatives on their Music Of The Spheres World Tour have set benchmarks for reducing the carbon footprint of other touring bands and artists. The band says they have managed to produce 59% less carbon emissions than their 2016-2017 stadium tour, surpassing their original goal of a 50% reduction. “They also revealed that with 9 million tickets sold to date, an impressive 7 million trees have already been planted as part of Coldplay’s commitment to plant a tree for every concertgoer who attends the tour,” according to a media report.

Dia Mirza

Indian actress and UN Ambassador for Environment Dia Mirza actively promotes tree planting and sustainable living. On the occasion of World Environment Day, she uploaded a video on Instagram urging her fans to fight desertification and protect the land.

Earlier this year, Dia Mirza pointed out the destruction of biodiversity in urban areas and the pruning of trees before the monsoon and urged officials to adopt better practices.

“Every year, the months of April and May are particularly heartbreaking as you witness the destruction of biodiversity in our urban spaces. Trees are being ‘pruned’ in preparation for the monsoon… The ‘pruning’ is unscientific and horrific as the entire canopy/shade is being stripped away by insensitive, thoughtless individuals. The country is reeling under an acute heat wave. The trees that provide us with some relief with their shade in our cities are being cruelly cut down,” she had said in an Instagram post.

Greta Thunberg

The list of global tree advocates would be incomplete without mentioning Greta Thunberg. The Swedish environmental activist is known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action to mitigate the effects of man-made climate change.

Her activism has inspired a global youth movement demanding stronger efforts to combat climate change since she began weekly protests outside the Swedish parliament in 2018. She has been repeatedly fined in Sweden and the UK for civil disobedience in connection with protests.

Thunberg and other climate protesters accuse fossil fuel companies of deliberately slowing the global energy transition to renewables to make more profit. They also oppose the UK government’s recent approval of oil drilling in the North Sea, off the coast of Scotland.

Rakul Preet Singh

At their wedding, actor Rakul Preet Singh and producer Jackky Bhagnani planted a tree for each of the invited wedding guests. The actress also shared a video of the special moment on her Instagram account.

Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar recently took part in a Bahawa tree plantation drive in memory of his parents, Hari Om Bhatia and Aruna Bhatia.