One Green Thing: Forest Regrowth Globally Equals an Area the Size of France

Regeneration Hotspots (in green)   Graphic: Trillion Trees Project

A team of scientists from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Birdlife International, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) used satellite data to build a map of forests that have been regenerated around the globe since 2000 and determined that when added together it equals an area the size of France.  Those new forests “have the potential to soak up the equivalent of 5.9 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of the US, according to conservation groups,” the BBC reported.  Even better still, the lands were restored in that short time with little human intervention — just planting native trees, fencing off livestock, and removing invasive plants.  William Baldwin-Cantello of WWF told the BBC that natural forest regeneration is often “cheaper, richer in carbon and better for biodiversity than actively planted forests.”  One major takeaway — the #30×30 effort to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030 could yield tremendous benefits even if some of the land is restored rather than pristine.

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