Artists Asked To Jump Aboard UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign — Pharoahe Monch One Of The First

By Allen Starbury  |  06/03/2009

Pharoahe MonchHip-hop's roots are in expression and empowerment about key issues of the time. Right now, climate change is one of the most daunting issues facing our generation. So, some artists are doing their part.

Pharoahe Monch, Mystic and other hip-hop artists have gotten on board with mokugift, whose focus is to planet trees. Their concept is to empower everyone to inspire their friends to plant trees in the fight against climate change. And do so by leveraging the communicative nature of the internet and the influence of celebrities.

Via its innovative Artists and Athletes Program, which will launch on World Environment Day (June 5), the company plans to join fans with their favorite artists and athletes to plant trees, via mokugift.com (Moku means tree in Japanese).

Organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Environment Day 2009 (theme: "Your Planet Needs You --Unite to Combat Climate Change") will focus attention on a global tree-planting drive that is part of larger awareness-raising campaign leading up to a crucial climate policy meeting in Copenhagen, in December 2009.

Through its "Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign," UNEP is appealing to global citizens to achieve the goal of planting seven billion trees -- roughly one tree for every living person on the planet -- by the end of 2009.

As an official partner, mokugift not only empowers people to participate in the Billion Tree Campaign, it also provides the tools to inspire others to participate. Tree planting is an easy first step to a more environmentally responsible lifestyle, and Mokugift enables anyone concerned about climate change -- even those lacking access to planting space -- to make a difference.

So far, artists like Pharoahe Monch, Mystic, and Tajai of the Hieroglyphics have jumped aboard, and others are expected to follow.

The artists and athletes who sign up with mokugift will be recording public service announcement spots for radio and video. These spots will air across the nation for the duration of the year, inspiring fans to participate in the Billion Tree Campaign before its conclusion in December 2009.

By visiting mokugift.com, you too can do your part. By paying $1, a tree will be planted in your name. Anyone purchasing a mokugift tree receives their own mokugift.com web page, a virtual island that serves as a platform for encouraging others to plant trees themselves or "gift" trees to others. Active promoters of tree planting, via mokugift, receive acknowledgement for their achievement on the site and are rewarded with free tree planting.

The planting of real mokugift trees is administered by award-winning nonprofit agroforestry organizations such as Trees For The Future and Sustainable Harvest International.

"The Artists and Athletes Program is intended as a call to action, to accelerate participation in UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign," says mokugift co-founder, Krates Ng. "It's not so much about the artists themselves planting trees, as it is about empowering ordinary people to inspire everyone to plant trees."

Presently mokugift.com is encouraging artists and athletes to jump aboard and help their cause, by creating distinctive PSAs that inspire fans to go viral in combating the challenge of climate change.

For more info, visit Mokugift.com.