Area of forests the size of France has regrown worldwide since 2000

An area of forests larger than France has regrown around the world since 2000, new data suggests.
A mapping study undertaken by the Trillion Trees project found that almost 59 million hectares of forests have grown back worldwide since the turn of the millennium.

The regrown forest area could store almost 5.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is more than the annual emissions of the US.

Image: In Mongolia’s northern boreal forests 1.2 million hectares of forest have regenerated. Pic AP
But environmentalists warn “vastly” more hectares of trees are being burned and cut down each year.
The study is a joint venture between WWF, BirdLife International and Wildlife Conservation Society, which looks at areas around the world where woodlands are regenerating.

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They range from active restoration, where native trees and shrubs are planted, assisted natural regeneration, where the forest is encouraged to regrow by measures such as clearing invasive species or fencing land to prevent grazing and “spontaneous natural regeneration” where trees come back of their own accord.

The study highlights areas such as the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, where 4.2 million hectares have regrown since 2000, through planned efforts to restore the forest, more responsible industry practices and human migration to cities.

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In Mongolia’s northern boreal forests, the study suggests 1.2 million hectares of forest have regenerated in the last 20 years, in part down to work undertaken by WWF and the Mongolian government’s increased emphasis on protected areas.

Image: An area of 4.2 million hectares has regrown in Brazil since 2000. Pic AP

Image: Brazil’s Atlantic Forest has seen a regeneration since 2000. Pic AP

Image: One of the reasons for the forest regrowth is because people are migrating to cities.
Central Africa and the boreal forests of Canada are also regeneration hotspots, according to the study, which examined more than 30 years of satellite data.
The survey comes after a report from WWF earlier this year which highlighted that forests almost twice the size of the UK was destroyed in global hotspots around the world between 2004 and 2017.
William Baldwin-Cantello, director of nature-based solutions at WWF, said that to avoid dangerous climate change and reverse the loss in nature, there is a need to halt deforestation and restore natural forests.

Image: Despite the regeneration in forests across the world, deforestation is still causing climate issues,

Image: The latest study comes after the WWF found forests almost twice the size of the UK were destroyed between 2004 and 2017
“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.
“This research tells us where and why regeneration is happening, and how we can recreate those conditions elsewhere,” Mr Baldwin-Cantello said.

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“But we can’t take this regeneration for granted – deforestation still claims millions of hectares every year, vastly more than is regenerated.
“To realise the potential of forests as a climate solution, we need support for regeneration in climate delivery plans and must tackle the drivers of deforestation, which in the UK means strong domestic laws to prevent our food causing deforestation overseas.”

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The UK’s High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 plus, why tea could be changing.

Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.
The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.
Hosted by Anna Jones, it will follow Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.
The show will also highlight solutions to the crisis and show how small changes can make a big difference.

Source : Sky News