Twitter for Trees: UNEP's Countdown to World Environment Day, June 5

June 5 marks World Environment Day, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is celebrating this year's event with the Twitter for Trees campaign. For every Twitter follower of UNEP and You between now and June 5, UNEP will plant one tree. The goal of the campaign is to plant 100,000 trees for 100,000 followers (although more trees will be planted if more people follow), and it's part of UNEP's larger Billion Tree Campaign, the goal of which is to plant one tree for every person on the planet (about 7 billion) by the end of the year.

The Twitter for Trees campaign, and UNEP and You in general, are making social media what it's supposed to be –- social, not just in the sense of forming a society but in the greater sense of uniting that society for the greater good of all. With programs like Twitter for Trees, social networking platforms become important and effective tools for social awareness and social activism. It's about time we used these platforms for more than just ridiculous status updates about our whereabouts or our ever-changing moods. UNEP and You is an example of what social media can – and should – be: a vehicle for social change.

Visit to add your voice and plant one for the planet!

More About World Environment Day 2009

Mexico will be the host country for World Environment Day 2009. As the producer of approximately 1.5 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, the country hopes that its participation in World Environment Day will reflect its commitment to fighting climate change, which President Felipe Calderon called "the most demanding challenge of the 21st century." (Mexico is also a leader in the Billion Tree Campaign, accounting for some 25 percent of the trees already pledged and planted under the initiative.)

The theme for World Environment Day 2009 is "Your Planet Needs You –- UNite to Combat Climate Change." While a bit unwieldy, this theme does highlight the key focus of many of UNEP's current projects –- recognition of and action against climate change.

Twitter for Trees, the Billion Tree Campaign, and World Environment Day 2009 are all stepping stones on the Road to Copenhagen, where a convention on climate change will take place in December 2009. UNEP hopes that through these campaigns, people will be inspired not only to fight climate change in their daily lives but also to pressure world leaders to commit to a new deal in Copenhagen so that the fight against climate change will occur on both the global and individual fronts.

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