A France-Sized Area of Forest has Regrown since 2000 Worldwide

According to a new analysis, since 2000, French-sized forests have naturally regenerated around the world in the United States. When was the last time you heard good news about the planet’s forest? Although most of the planet’s forest cover is still in the whole problem, a new study has shown how some forests have the extraordinary ability to spring back and forth when given the opportunity.

John Lotspeich, Executive Director of Trillion Trees, said in a statement, “The data show the potential for restoration of natural habitats when given the opportunity to do so. But for some of us, it’s almost an excuse to wait.” The report was released this week by Trillion Tree in collaboration with the WWF, Birdlife International and WCS. Valuable satellite imaging data from more than 30 years was used to report results from 29 countries in 13 equations. Warm spots of deforestation can be found all over the world. 

For example, after the government’s efforts to deal with severe dust storms, the reforestation of northern China’s forests northeast of Beijing recently sank, which has greatly contributed to the restoration of native vegetation. Another good example can be found in northwestern Brazil, where agricultural abandonment also saw a resurgence of deforestation. As these examples prove, forest restoration has been driven by a variety of factors. Some of the factors are unclear and some were the result of improved forest management while others were natural such as regeneration after forest fires.

As we can see in large parts of China, government policies across the country have significantly contributed to forest cover over the years. Similar commitments and policies have recently been implemented around the world. Although the report highlights many successes, it does not reduce the scale of the problem. Many areas on the east coast of Brazil, such as the Atlantic forest, have recovered considerably in the past two couples, but still remain much lower than their historical limits.

Meanwhile, outside of these areas of recovery, the forest continues to rage through the most important forests in the world. Restoring forest pockets is not going to solve the widespread problem of climate change or deforestation immediately, but this report shows that restoring forests can have a significant impact on the planet’s natural environment. “Science is clear: if we want to avoid dangerous climate change and degrade nature, we both need to stop deforestation and restore natural forests,” explained William Baldwin-Cantello, director of nature-based solutions at WWFF-UK.