As the planet warms and environmental challenges escalate, Erbil City finds itself at a climatic crossroads. Enter MillionOaks, a transformative afforestation initiative engineered not just as a response but as a resilient solution for the future. Spearheaded by the Hasar Organization, MillionOaks is not your average tree-planting endeavor—it’s a meticulously planned, scalable model for urban reforestation. We’re proud to announce that we’ve successfully planted 315,000 trees, laying a robust foundation for what comes next: an ambitious new phase to plant an additional 700,000 trees.
Leveraging invaluable learnings from our pilot projects, we’ve enhanced our scalability mechanisms, ensuring the next stages of MillionOaks will be bigger, better, and more impactful. Comprising 80% native Oaks, specifically the “Quercus brantii lind,” and rounded out by 20% diverse species for ecological balance, the initiative stands as a vibrant testament to innovation and sustainable development.
Our coalition of change-makers extends beyond Hasar. Cihan University nurtured our vision by offering nursery space. Rwanga Foundation elevated our reach as a strategic ally, while the Kurdistan Regional Government empowered us with essential land allocations. Most recently, ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. bolstered the project as a corporate sponsor, fortifying our resources.
There are three main objectives in this project;
Establishing a large-scale annual afforestation to combat the impact of climate change in the Kurdistan Region.
Encouraging and promoting a culture of tree-planting habits among the Kurdistan community.
Restoring natural forests and increasing green spaces in the Kurdistan Region to enhance biodiversity and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- December 2020:
- Inaugural planting of 1,500 indigenous oaks in Erbil’s public spaces.
- Pioneered a new chapter in large-scale urban reforestation and community engagement.
- December 2021:
- Monumental achievement: 60,000 oaks planted along Erbil’s 120m road in 10 days.
- Utilized innovative planting techniques and fueled by robust community involvement.
- December 2022:
- Set another record: Planted 180,000 oaks in just 9 days along the same route.
- Cemented Erbil’s status as a trailblazer in sustainable urban development.
- March 2023:
- Surpassed 300K trees planted overall.
- Became Iraq’s first fully digitized environmental project.
- Data-driven decision-making for optimized project performance.
Creating a Climate-Resilient Forest: A Sustainable Solution to Combat Climate Change
The MillionOaks project is focused on planting a million trees and pioneering a new approach to afforestation. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the newly planted forest, the project is implementing a comprehensive management plan. Over a period of three years, the forest will be closely supervised and irrigated to ensure the healthy growth of the oak trees. The forest is expected to become self-sustaining once it reaches maturity, providing a habitat for a diverse range of species and many other benefits to the community. The project team has taken great care to choose a site that is well-protected by an existing fence, and they will continue to supervise the area after planting is completed. The project will be handed over to the local government to ensure that it receives the ongoing attention it needs to thrive in the years to come. Through these innovative approaches to afforestation, the MillionOaks project is blazing a trail for sustainable reforestation efforts around the world.