According to a new analysis published by Trillion Trees, almost 59 million hectares of forests - an area larger than mainland France - has regrown since the year 2000, with the potential to store the equivalent of 5.9 Gt of CO2.
The study by WWF, BirdLife International and WCS also highlights the recent successes in other areas of the world. The Atlantic Forest in Brazil has witnessed the regrowth of an estimated 4.2 million hectares of forest since the year 2000, covering an area roughly the size of the Netherlands. Likewise an extra 1.2 million hectares of forest has been regenerated in the boreal forests of Mongolia in the last 20 years, highlighting again another incredible achievement.
Other regeneration hotspots include central Africa and the boreal forests of Canada, with an increased emphasis from the Mongolian government on protected areas. However, this admirable achievement has taken a large group effort from all parties involved, from both the government and general public. The regeneration has succeeded through the combination of planned restoration projects, more focus on responsible industry practices, a migration trends towards cities and support from WWF, a partner of Trillion Trees.
“This research tells us where and why regeneration is happening, and how we can recreate those conditions elsewhere.”
The study is designed to help inform forest restoration plans worldwide, giving a picture of the areas where focusing restoration efforts could be most beneficial. William Baldwin-Cantello, Director of Nature-based Solutions at WWF made the following statement:
“The science is clear: if we are to avoid dangerous climate change and turn around the loss of nature, we must both halt deforestation and restore natural forests. We’ve known for a long time that natural forest regeneration is often cheaper, richer in carbon and better for biodiversity than actively planted forests, and this research tells us where and why regeneration is happening, and how we can recreate those conditions elsewhere.”