Nature and Biodiversity

These 20 innovations are helping us to conserve, restore and grow 1 trillion trees

A woman jogs with her dog through a park during a sunny autumn day in central Sofia October 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT) - GM1EAAE1G5401

Innovators from all over the world have answered the call to restore and grow the world's forests. Image: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Gianluca Gygax
Impact Lead, Uplink,
Lluvy Liu
Global Leadership Fellow, World Economic Forum, Geneva
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  • At Davos 2020, the World Economic Forum launched, the platform to serve a global movement to conserve, restore and grow 1 trillion trees by 2030.
  • In July 2020,'s Trillion Trees Challenge went live on UpLink, and led to the selection of the first cohort of Trillion Trees champions and innovators.
  • Innovations from 5 continents tackle a range of roadblocks, including mass mobilisation, reaching scale, greening cities, building a forest economy, and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies for trees.

Forests are critical to the health of the planet. Conserving existing forests, restoring forest ecosystems and reforesting suitable lands is essential if we are to transition to a sustainable pathway for our economies and societies at the required speed and scale.

In July 2020, launched the Trillion Trees Challenge on UpLink - a digital platform for surfacing and scaling innovations that could solve some of the world's most pressing challenges. The Challenge serves as a global call for solutions, initiatives, fresh perspectives and ideas to help meet the goal of conserving, restoring and growing a trillion trees over the next decade. Five priority areas were identified in partnership with leading global restoration experts: mass mobilisation, reaching scale, greening cities, building a forest economy, to 4IR technologies for trees.

Mette Wilkie, Director of the Forestry Division, FAO.
Mette Wilkie, Director of the Forestry Division, FAO. Image: World Economic Forum

All solutions submitted on UpLink were carefully reviewed and assessed by the community of experts from to elect the first UpLink cohort of 20 innovators. Three winners were selected through the semi-final and final pitch competitions, as well as an on-line voting for the People’s Choice Award.

The cohort will have an opportunity to share and learn from each other, and and UpLink will work extensively with this group of innovators over the coming months to scale their impact, by promoting their work on our social media platforms, presenting them at our events and introducing them to experts and potential funders who can accelerate their ideas.

Have you read?

Here are the first UpLink Trillion Trees cohort who have answered the call to restore and grow the world's forests:

Borneo Nature Foundation's Community Nursery project empowers rural communities to grow, plant and protect native trees in Borneo’s carbon-rich peatlands, providing economic benefits and helping restore and safeguard these threatened forests.


Reforestum & Ecosphere+ deliver an end-to-end solution that brings transparency through technology to scale climate action, connecting companies and individuals to vital conservation and reforestation projects.


Inga Foundation's integrated Inga alley-cropping system stops tropical rainforest devastation (slash/burn), regenerates degraded land, and empowers subsistence farmers-providing 100% organic food security/cash crops with no debt or high inputs.


Dendra Systems provides a cutting edge ecosystem restoration platform that combines ecology with drone and AI technologies, making optimising and delivering transparency to biodiversity restoration projects at a scale never before possible.

Trees for the Future's Forest Garden Approach involves locally-hired technicians training smallholder farmers to sustainably plant a variety of trees and vegetables. In turn, this raises farmer income and family nutrition while revitalizing soils and sequestering carbon.


Greenstand's tree tracking app creates a digital link between tree growers and tree funders. It is an open-source community-driven software platform that enables users anywhere in the world to earn an income by growing trees.


Justdiggit believes in regreening degraded land via low-cost, scalable landscape restoration techniques. By empowering millions of farmers through media communication and new technologies.

ReGreen the Globe is a regreening movement dedicated to inspiring, uniting and empowering an alliance of diverse stakeholders to rapidly scale-up Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) across the globe.

Kijani Forestry is combating deforestation caused by the charcoal industry by working with shareholder farmers to plant millions of biodiverse trees to improve livelihoods and replace cutting of old-growth forests.


Pachama is developing a modern market for forest carbon credits using remote sensing and machine learning to validate and monitor reforestation and avoidance of deforestation projects.


SUGi allows anyone anywhere to invest in nature in order to build biodiversity in urban centres and create the healing and learning sites for future generations.


India’s Billion towards the Global Trillion is a tree plantation initiative by Global Shapers in Navi Mumbai in collaboration with the Indian government which aims to use the Miyawaki afforestation method and the Internet of Things to plant and grow One Billion Trees across India by 2030.

EcoTree's sustainable forestry solution provides ROI to individuals and businesses that finance reforestation. By buying and owning newly-planted trees in our forests, everyone can have an environmental impact and financial stake in supporting forestry.


Blacksheep is a regenerative agroforestry company that restores and protects the jungles of Costa Rica through the cultivation and sale of the highest quality lumber and superfood products.

The Reforestation Impact Security unlocks new philanthropic and investment capital for non-profit One Tree Planted to plant and track the survivability of 20 million trees in British Columbia, designed in partnership with NPX + Align17. This model is infinitely scalable and can be used by any and all reforestation non-profit organizations with measurable impact.

Trees AI is an outcomes-based investment platform to grow and maintain urban nature-based solutions, at scale, to transition to resilient cities by connecting stakeholders, citizens and green jobs.

Kijani Pamoja, which means "Green Together", is uniting youth in Africa to become the 'restoration generation', giving them the right knowledge tools to be the key drivers of this movement.

WithOneSeed is community-led forestry, combining action to address deforestation and climate change with building village-based economies in Timor-Leste through international carbon markets.


Wildchain is a climate action tool that lets you adopt wildlife and plant trees to cut your carbon footprint and support real-world conservation efforts - all within a mobile game.


Earthwatch Europe is establishing 'Tiny Forests' across the UK. These dense, tennis court-sized urban forests provide a wealth of biodiversity benefits, support climate resilience and connect communities with nature.

Do you have an idea which could help our forests? Join UpLink now.

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