Arsenal's Hector Bellerin Is Planting 58,617 Trees in the Amazon

Diana Chaplin | August 13, 2020 | 3 min read

How a Love of Sports and the Environment Is Making a Positive Impact

We have an exciting update to share from our partnership with Arsenal Football Club’s Hector Bellerin! Thanks to Hector’s tremendous support and dedication to the environment via a fundraiser that was popular with fans, a significant contribution has been made for the Amazon Rainforest. The trees will be planted in a critically important ecosystem, with many local people who help conservation and restoration in the area.

Back in June Hector pledged to fund the planting of 3,000 trees for every Arsenal win through the end of the season. We anxiously watched the games hoping that Arsenal would pull through on top each time, and they had a great season. Congratulations to Arsenal FC on 7 wins through June and July, plus one tie for which Hector decided to plant the trees anyway even though the team didn't technically win.

The great thing about this initiative is that while it was Hector Bellerin personally who initiated the campaign with us, the total contribution depended on teamwork from the start. Not unlike the many collective actions when it comes to reaching our goals for sustainability.

Hector Bellerin

Fan art by Marcello Martinelli

We’d also like to extend our thanks to the many Arsenal FC fans that enthusiastically supported Hector’s campaign and further contributed to his goal, helping to make the biggest possible impact for the environment. In an unexpected (but welcomed!) turn of events, Arsenal FC rival, Paddy Power, even joined the campaign by promising to plant 6,000 trees every time Arsenal didn’t win. We loved seeing the good-hearted competition, and in this case, it really worked out in favor of nature!

So, we’ve crunched the numbers and the results are in! Hector’s campaign will plant 58,617 trees.

“I try everything I can every day to make sure I live my best life for the planet and in the process, given the platform I have, I try to make others conscious of this as well” said Hector Bellerin.

Reforestation will begin this fall, and in the meantime the nursery is looking pretty good!

Arsenal tree nursery
Tree Nursery Workers
Aerial view of nursery
The Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor

The Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor

Hector’s contribution is supporting a much larger reforestation project that we have in the works with the Black Jaguar Foundation in Brazil, and other partners, to plant trees in Central Brazil’s Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor. The objective is to create natural resilience in this important ecosystem and restore over 1 million hectares by planting over 1.7 billion trees.

This biodiversity corridor will connect two of the world’s most vital ecosystems: the Amazon Rainforest and the Cerrado Savanna, making it the longest nature corridor on Earth and one of South America’s largest reforestation projects.

The scope is truly astonishing, with a total length of 2,600 kilometers and a width of up to 40 kilometers alongside the riverbanks of the entire Araguaia river.

A major goal of the Amazon reforestation project is to restore native vegetation within a matrix of different land uses. Improving biodiversity will in return provide us with oxygen, clean water, air filtration, pollinated plants, and regulated wildlife populations, all the things that humans rely on to survive and that maintain the balance of nature.

This project will also help to create over 37,000 jobs. Individuals from local communities will be hired to manage tree nurseries, build structures, prepare areas for reforestation, plant seedlings, and perform maintenance.

As you may know, the Amazon Rainforest has been greatly affected by wildfires over the past few years. Restoring these ecosystems with native, fire-resistant vegetation helps to mitigate the risk of widespread forest fire while also helping biodiversity habitats thrive.

We are honored to take part in restoring the beloved Amazon Rainforest, which is no small feat, and requires massive restoration efforts to rebuild. We’re also extremely grateful to have an influential and dedicated advocate like Hector Bellerin helping to raise awareness of the climate crisis and supporting critical ecosystems in Brazil.

We’re looking forward to getting the trees from Hector’s campaign in the ground and will keep you all in the loop on the outstanding progress to be made. In the meantime you can also contribute to this reforestation project and plant a tree in the Amazon today!


Image credit: Arsenal FC

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. For Treecember, we're planting trees that support a global forest fire recovery fund. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reforest lands damaged by record-setting fires
  • Support healthy habitat for iconic biodiversity
  • Plant tree species that will help reduce future fire impact
  • This holiday season, we’re planting trees in areas around the world that have been severely affected by forest fires and aren't able to recover a healthy ecosystem on their own. The most common naturally-caused wildfires occur during droughts or dry weather, and under these circumstances, trees and other vegetation are converted to flammable fuel. Human-caused forest fires can be a result of various activities like unregulated slash and burn agriculture, equipment failure or engine sparks, and discarded cigarettes.

    After wildfires, reforestation is essential in areas where the fire intensity burned off available seed supply within the soil, and/or where there are not enough healthy trees still growing and producing new seeds nearby. Reforestation starts once professional assessments have been made to determine where human intervention would be the most ecologically beneficial. Help restore these vital ecosystems by planting a tree. 🌿
  • Every year, forest fires are increasing in size and severity, damaging vital ecosystems and creating a need for millions of trees. Some major consequences of forest fires include significant loss of wildlife, loss of vegetation, soil erosion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

    With so much fire damage, reforestation is essential to catalyze the environmental recovery process. The trees are carefully planted to prevent invasive species from colonizing burn scars and restore quality habitat for native biodiversity. One Tree Planted is connecting with on-the-ground partners to establish viable reforestation projects when the recently affected regions are ready for planting. This fund will contribute to planting projects in British Columbia, Idaho, Ghana, Portugal, and beyond. Let's get to work! 🌲
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • To maximize the impact of your donation, our partners on the ground will determine the most appropriate species of tree and shrubs. We only plant native tree species that will restore the local ecosystem, re-establish wildlife habitat, and reduce the likelihood of future fires.

Sign Up to our Newsletter

Get good news, reforestation updates, planting event information, and more delivered right to your inbox.