SANTIAGO – Volunteers joined together to plant 15,000 trees on Renca Hill, Santiago, on Dec. 6. The activity was part of the environmental awareness initiative #6D, which created a global chain of action against climate change. Talking about the event, Chile’s National Forest Corporation Executive Director said, “Trees are the best way to mitigate the effects of global change.”
Approximately 5,000 volunteers signed up to work on a reforestation initiative for Renca Hill: planting 15,000 native trees in one day. The event set a record as the biggest single-day reforestation in Chile’s history.
The initiative was organized by the Renca Municipality, Chilean reforestation organization Cultiva, and Swiss collaborative organization Avina. Both corporations organized the event as part of the #6D initiative: an invitation to people worldwide to take specific action against climate change on Dec. 6.
Historic Reforestation in Renca
Chile’s National Forest Corporation (CONAF) was in charge of donating the trees and plants for the Renca Hill reforestation. Although 15,000 were planted, another 15,000 were donated to be planted next winter. Executive Director José Manuel Rebolledo told Buenas Noticias that the trees were all native species, and came from the Programa de Arborización (“Arborization [Reforestation] Program”) “[The goal of the program] is to increase and improve tree population in communes with green areas deficits,” Rebolledo said.
The massive tree population in Renca Hill is expected to neutralize 15,000 tons of CO2. It will help clean the air and benefit approximately 360,000 inhabitants of north-west Santiago, according to CONAF.
The historic planting milestone was achieved by volunteers from Fridays For Future and 180 schools in the Metropolitan Region. There were also over 230 activists and environmental leaders and a thousand guides and instructors.
The #6D Initiative
Cultiva and Avina announced the #6D initiative as part of the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), to spark action on climate change. The convention was originally going to be held in Chile during the first weeks of December, but it moved to Spain due to the country’s tense political situation.
This change of plans, however, didn’t stop the campaign at all. In fact, even before that date, responses big and small, mass and personal, were already slated for Chile, Bolivia, Croatia, Sweden, Togo, Argentina, Ghana, and Ecuador.
The initiative continued to spread and on Dec. 6, the movement inspired numerous reforestations, recycling campaigns, sustainable building projects, and beach cleanups. According to La Tercera, organizer Jorge Tapia said they are “projects of great diversity, from reforestation and waste management, to energy and water access and sustainable food production.”
As reported by Cambio Climático Chile, Chilean filmer Guillermo Scallan organized a cultural activity in New York City’s Central Park, while Soda Stereo drummer Charly Alberti promoted a movement to preserve non-transgenic seeds—both in the context of the #6D movement.
The same site reports that by mid-August the organizers had already allied with over 50 institution. Plant For The Planet, WWF, Pacto Mata Atlántica and Ecodes are just some of their many collaborators, who also took action during the #6D challenge.
Camila Huecho is a journalism student at Universidad de La Frontera in Temuco, currently interning at Chile Today. As a freelance illustrator and Fellow at the Melton Foundation, she works to bring information and cultures together through communications and art.