UN Appeals For More Trees - By: Roger Munns

Description : The UN has launched a campaign to plant a billion new trees, which is being welcomed by environmentalists, but with a warning by some that in certain regions it could do more harm than good.

While the campaign claims that each tree uses up 26 pounds of co2 emissions and in return produces enough oxygen for a family of four, planting the right trees is important to help the world improve her ecological and environment balance.

In areas that historically have suffered from a lack of rain, and in areas where global warming could potentially produce deserts, new trees that use a lot of water could have a serious affect on their biodiversity.

Eucalyptus trees can consume two thousand litres of water a day, and planting new ones in Africa would be a catalyst to disaster, and local campaigners for planting trees are urged to consider their area needs and decide carefully before deciding on which type of tree to plant.

As well as individuals planting a tree, it is hoped that businesses will do the same and encourage employees to do the same, with government and civil servants also being asked to take active participation to reach the target of a billion trees by the end of this year.

The patron of the campaign is Prince Albert of Monaco. Prince Albert has been campaigning for the environment since becoming Monaco's Sovereign two years ago, and one of his first acts was to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Previously, along with Australia and the USA, Monaco was one of a handful of countries not to ratify the treaty.

Prince Albert's father, Prince Rainier, was Europe's longest reigning Monarch until his death in April 2005. Known affectionately as the 'builder prince' he transformed Monaco into the world's favourite tax haven and ensured the Monaco Grand Prix became one of the best known annual sporting events. The Principality Albert succeeded to was a country known throughout the world for money and glamour, and the Monte Carlo casino only added to its legendary status.

Albert has continued in his father's footsteps with a plan to develop an island off Monte Carlo, and like his father with the reclaimed land in Fontvieille the map of Monaco will change again.

In keeping with his stance on the environment, it is thought that a successful bid to build the island will need to be seen to be environmentally friendly, with the possibility of lower rise buildings than some parts of Monaco have endured to create more living space.

Monte Carlo has long been associated with glamour, heightened throughout the world in 1956 when Prince Albert's father married his mother, US actress Grace Kelly.

Speculation was rife earlier this year that Prince Albert would be announcing his own engagement to South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock.

'Things have gone quiet recently on the Charlene front', comment a Monaco travel guide, 'Monaco is all about glitz and glamour and perhaps a surprise announcement will be made soon. But it's possible that Albert is more interested in environmental affairs than affairs of the heart'.

Monaco has been making the news recently as Monte Carlo real estate prices have escalated, and are on a level with London and New York.

Even the cheapest studios are edging towards the million Euro level according to Monaco property specialists.

'Increasing taxes elsewhere in Europe, especially in the UK, have seen inquiries increase significantly over the last twelve months,' they say, 'and it's not the weather in Monte Carlo that's drawing buyers, but the income tax free status of being a resident, and the security that goes with living in Monaco. There's one policeman for every one hundred residents and has to be the safest country to live in Europe'.

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