In the spring of this year, we announced our annual Sustainability Campaign, which focused on planting trees with local communities around the world. In partnership with Ecosia, and in coordination with our monthly Niantic Community Days, we challenged players to explore the world to help unlock hundreds of thousands of trees just by playing Pokemon GO, Ingress and Pikmin Bloom. For every player who moved 5km or more on Niantic Community Day, we pledged to plant 1 tree with Ecosia, up to 100,000 trees per month.
After several Community Days and some incredible efforts by both players and Ecosia community partners, we’re proud to share that 301,000 trees have been planted. 300,000 trees were unlocked by player movement during Niantic Community Days, and an additional 1,000 trees were donated by Niantic on behalf of those players who cannot physically move the 5km. In all, this has the potential to remove approximately 19,565 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere (over the first 20 years of the tree’s life).
Across 3 continents and 14 countries, Ecosia planted trees in “biodiversity hotspots” — places around the world where biodiversity conservation is most urgent. Partnering with local community organizations, Ecosia ensures that each community is focused on planting native and diverse trees, as well as nurturing and growing those trees into mature plants for years to come. Below are some highlights of the tree planting efforts:
Brazil: Local community partner, CEPAN, is working with local communities to bring back parts of the Atlantic Rainforest by using the Muvuca method. This consists of a direct sowing method that will help simulate the natural succession of the forest environment.
Ethiopia: Alongside local community partner Menschen für Menschen, tree planting works to halt desertification, as well as stimulating local livelihoods by planting trees that help grow coffee and attract bees.
Kenya: The Mount Kenya Environment Conservation is working with smallholder farmers to restore the slopes of Mount Kenya, as well as planting trees with the Green Belt Movement to restore key watersheds.
Nicaragua: Fundacion Dia is planting trees in agroforestry systems, which contribute towards halting deforestation and diversifying the diets and livelihoods of local farmers.
As we continue to seek out ways to collectively reduce our impact on the world and use augmented reality and location-based games to elevate sustainability, we celebrate the incredible work of the players who unlocked this project with their movement and the local communities working alongside Ecosia to build a better tomorrow.
- Yennie Solheim, Director of Social Impact