Telethon asks viewers to donate £ 2.4m to a project that will try to plant 1 million trees, to help tackle the climate crisis
People in Denmark will be able to “plant trees” from the comfort of their sofa in what is believed to be the world's first TV fundraising event for forests.
On Saturday, national broadcaster TV2 will broadcast Denmark Plants Trees, a two-and-a-half hour live benefit event that will ask viewers to donate funds to plant 1 million trees across the country.
Tree planting helps reduce CO2 levels and is considered a central part of solving the climate crisis.
The telethon will take place in the middle of the Gisselfeld Klosters Skove forest with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen planting one of the first trees.
Martin Sundstrøm, producer of the event, said spectators would be encouraged to raise 20 million crowns (£ 2.4 million) to help the Danish Society for Conservation of Nature plant 1 million trees, while 10% of the money raised would go to WWF to help save the forests of the tropics.
Nicolai Hansson, editor of TV2, said: “We know that we will not solve the climate crisis simply by planting trees, but we hope that people feel that it is something tangible that they can be an active part of and enjoy later when they visit the new forests and watch them grow and to flourish ".
Those who donate to the cause will become members of a new “people's forests” initiative, which will be created near Danish cities. The project has 600 hectares (1,482 acres) of land ready, with more to be added in the future.
"All potential areas have been assessed and prioritized based on suitability by forestry experts from the Danish Society for Conservation of Nature," said Sundstrøm. “After Saturday there will be a series of tree planting events across Denmark. The first events will be this fall and then in the spring of 2020 a greater number of events will take place depending on how much we raise. If we raise the funds to plant a million trees, we expect around 30 events ”.
Sundstrøm said he looked forward to seeing Denmark Plants Trees lead to similar events in other countries. "I hope that events like this will spread to other countries to attract audiences, as Live Aid did in 1985."
Sara Lom, Executive Director of the UK Tree Council charity, said she would welcome a UK tree planting telethon. "To plant enough trees to help combat climate change, we will need everyone to get involved, and fast," Lom said. "A national television telethon, or one over time, would be a wonderful way to engage people from all over the country to raise money to plant and care for more trees."