The world saw a re-growth of about 59 million hectares of forest since 2000, which clearly indicates a sign of a healthy environment coming back. The forest stretch is larger than the Mainland France, said an analysis by Trillion Trees, a joint venture between World Wildlife Fund, Bird Life International and Wildlife Conservation Society.
The study said that this developed forest stretch has the potential to store the equivalent of 5.9 gigatons of carbon dioxide. It pointed out Atlantic Forest in Brazil as a success story. Trillion trees said that about 4.2 million hectares (size of the Netherlands) was regrown in Brazil.
Vice president and deputy lead for forests at WWF Josefina Braña Varela pointed out that deforestation should be halted at the earliest. She said that restoration of natural forests would help in preserving critical ecosystems.
The study also notes the restoration of 1.2 billion hectares of boreal forests in Mongolia. An effort of 20 years, it happened because of the efforts of WWF and the Mangolian government.
The study gives the world information with respect to forest restoration plans. It showcases the areas where restoration efforts could be most beneficial. The study is an effort of a two year work, examining more than 30 years’ of satellite imaging data and surveying experts with on-the-ground knowledge of more than 100 sites in 29 different countries. The study followed WWF’s map of deforestation fronts published this year, which highlighted the alarming extent to which the world is losing forests.
The authors noted that there was much momentum than ever for forest restoration, including a wave of government pledges. However, these pledges showed that delivery plans involved very limited expansion of natural forests. They also point out that encouraging signs of regeneration cannot be taken for granted. The authors note that forests across Brazil faced significant threats. The Atlantic Forest, which is a success restoration story, is still under threat, they explained.
BE A PART
Trillion Trees has now invited local partners and green funders to help facilitate new landscape restoration ventures. They are inviting individuals with on-the-ground knowledge to contribute online via email@example.com.
Trillion Trees executive director John Lotspeich said that the data showed the enormous potential of natural habitats to recover when given the chance to do so. “But it isn’t an excuse for any of us to wait around for it to happen. Through our partners at BirdLife International, WCS and WWF, Trillion Trees has worked hard to identify and protect the areas where there is potential for natural regeneration of these precious assets and to learn from our successes to promote natural regeneration elsewhere on an even larger scale,” he said.