New Plan to Restore Forests
Posted: September 3, 2011
What will it take to restore 50 million hectares (580,000 square miles) of deforested and degraded forests? A lot. Too optimistic? I guess why not try. Wonder what its going to cost. Do i sound skeptical. Well, since the early 1980's when the Tropical Forest Action Plan (TFAP) emerged international agencies have been trying for decade to deal with deforestation, and haven;t been very succesful to be frank.
Its called Bonn Challenge. The lead organization, the World Resources Institute (WRI), who I respect say:
"The target represents just over 7 percent of the 2 billion hectares of land worldwide that are suitable for restoration, according to a recent estimate by a team of experts. The area, which is larger than South America, includes 1.5 billion hectares suited for "mosaic restoration", which would include forests, farms, and settlements, and 500 million hectares suited for restoration of closed forests. Another 200 million hectares of boreal forest degraded by fire are unpopulated but would be difficult to restore."
Some 30 percent of global forest cover has been cleared in recent centuries, while another 20 percent has been degraded. Roughly one billion hectares of former forest lands are presently occupied by croplands and densely populated rural areas.
The new initiative won't seek to take current agriculture lands out of production, but WRI says some of these lands "would benefit from having trees planted in strategic places to protect and enhance agricultural productivity and other ecosystem functions."
I like the idea of 'mosaic restoration' which may be a new kink in the strategy, looking across the landscape. Sounds like agroforestry to me.