Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation.[1] Reforestation can be used to rectify or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide,[2] and harvest for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products.

A similar concept, afforestation, another type of forestation, refers to the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodlands or forests that may have existed long ago but were deforested or otherwise removed at some point in the past or lacked it naturally (e.g., natural grasslands). Sometimes the term "re-afforestation" is used to distinguish between the original forest cover and the later re-growth of forest to an area. Special tools, e.g. tree planting bars, are used to make planting of trees easier and faster.

Hasta luego 001
Tropical tree nursery at Planeta Verde Reforestación S.A.'s plantation in Vichada Department, Colombia
Biodiversity on clearcut
A 15-year-old reforested plot of land
A 21-year-old plantation of red pine in Southern Ontario


A debated issue in managed reforestation is whether or not the succeeding forest will have the same biodiversity as the original forest. If the forest is replaced with only one species of tree and all other vegetation is prevented from growing back, a monoculture forest similar to agricultural crops would be the result. However, most reforestation involves the planting of different selections of seedlings taken from the area, often of multiple species.[3] Another important factor is the natural regeneration of a wide variety of plant and animal species that can occur on a clear cut. In some areas the suppression of forest fires for hundreds of years has resulted in large single aged and single species forest stands. The logging of small clear cuts and/or prescribed burning actually increases the biodiversity in these areas by creating a greater variety of tree stand ages and species.

For harvesting

Reforestation need not be only used for recovery of accidentally destroyed forests. In some countries, such as Finland, many of the forests are managed by the wood products and pulp and paper industry. In such an arrangement, like other crops, trees are planted to replace those that have been cut. In such circumstances, the industry can cut the trees in a way to allow easier reforestation. The wood products industry systematically replaces many of the trees it cuts, employing large numbers of summer workers for tree planting work. For example, in 2010, Weyerhaeuser reported planting 50 million seedlings.[4] However replanting an old-growth forest with a plantation is not replacing the old with the same characteristics in the new.

In just 20 years, a teak plantation in Costa Rica can produce up to about 400 m³ of wood per hectare. As the natural teak forests of Asia become more scarce or difficult to obtain, the prices commanded by plantation-grown teak grows higher every year. Other species such as mahogany grow more slowly than teak in Tropical America but are also extremely valuable. Faster growers include pine, eucalyptus, and Gmelina.[5]

Reforestation, if several indigenous species are used, can provide other benefits in addition to financial returns, including restoration of the soil, rejuvenation of local flora and fauna, and the capturing and sequestering of 38 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year.[6]

The reestablishment of forests is not just simple tree planting. Forests are made up of a community of species and they build dead organic matter into soils over time. A major tree-planting program could enhance the local climate and reduce the demands of burning large amounts of fossil fuels for cooling in the summer.[7]

For climate change mitigation

Forests are an important part of the global carbon cycle because trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. By removing this greenhouse gas from the air, forests function as terrestrial carbon sinks, meaning they store large amounts of carbon. At any time, forests account for as much as double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.[8]:1456 Even as more anthropogenic carbon is produced, forests remove around three billion tons of anthropogenic carbon every year. This amounts to about 30% of all carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. Therefore, an increase in the overall forest cover around the world would tend to mitigate global warming.

There are four major strategies available to mitigate carbon emissions through forestry activities: increase the amount of forested land through a reforestation process; increase the carbon density of existing forests at a stand and landscape scale; expand the use of forest products that will sustainably replace fossil-fuel emissions; and reduce carbon emissions that are caused from deforestation and degradation.[8]:1456

Achieving the first strategy would require enormous and wide-ranging efforts. However, there are many organizations around the world that encourage tree-planting as a way to offset carbon emissions for the express purpose of fighting climate change. For example, in China, the Jane Goodall Institute, through their Shanghai Roots & Shoots division, launched the Million Tree Project in Kulun Qi, Inner Mongolia to plant one million trees to stop desertification and help curb climate change.[9][10] China has used 24 billion metres squared of new forest plantation and natural forest regrowth to offset 21% of Chinese fossil fuel emissions in 2000.[8]:1456 In Java, Indonesia each newlywed couple is to give whoever is sermonizing their wedding 5 seedlings to combat global warming. Each couple that wishes to have a divorce has to give 25 seedlings to whoever divorces them.[11]

The second strategy has to do with selecting species for tree-planting. In theory, planting any kind of tree to produce more forest cover would absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. On the other hand, a genetically modified tree specimen might grow much faster than any other regular tree.[12]:93 Some of these trees are already being developed in the lumber and biofuel industries. These fast-growing trees would not only be planted for those industries but they can also be planted to help absorb carbon dioxide faster than slow-growing trees.[12]:93

Extensive forest resources placed anywhere in the world will not always have the same impact. For example, large reforestation programs in boreal or subarctic regions have a limited impact on climate mitigation. This is because it substitutes a bright snow-dominated region that reflects the sunlight with dark forest canopies. On the other hand, a positive example would be reforestation projects in tropical regions, which would lead to a positive biophysical change such as the formation of clouds. These clouds would then reflect the sunlight, creating a positive impact on climate mitigation.[8]:1457

There is an advantage to planting trees in tropical climates with wet seasons. In such a setting, trees have a quicker growth rate because they can grow year-round. Trees in tropical climates have, on average, larger, brighter, and more abundant leaves than non-tropical climates. A study of the girth of 70,000 trees across Africa has shown that tropical forests are soaking up more carbon dioxide pollution than previously realized. The research suggests almost one fifth of fossil fuel emissions are absorbed by forests across Africa, Amazonia and Asia. Simon Lewis, a climate expert at the University of Leeds, who led the study, said: "Tropical forest trees are absorbing about 18% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere each year from burning fossil fuels, substantially buffering the rate of change."[13]

It is also important to deal with the rate of deforestation. At this point, there are 13 billion metres squared of tropical regions that are deforested every year. There is potential for these regions to reduce rates of deforestation by 50% by 2050, which would be a huge contribution to stabilize the global climate.[8]:1456


Some incentives for reforestation can be as simple as a financial compensation. Streck and Scholz (2006) explain how a group of scientists from various institutions have developed a compensated reduction of deforestation approach which would reward developing countries that disrupt any further act of deforestation. Countries that participate and take the option to reduce their emissions from deforestation during a committed period of time would receive financial compensation for the carbon dioxide emissions that they avoided.[14]:875 To raise the payments, the host country would issue government bonds or negotiate some kind of loan with a financial institution that would want to take part in the compensation promised to the other country. The funds received by the country could be invested to help find alternatives to the extensive cutdown of forests. This whole process of cutting emissions would be voluntary, but once the country has agreed to lower their emissions they would be obligated to reduce their emissions. However, if a country was not able to meet their obligation, their target would get added to their next commitment period. The authors of these proposals see this as a solely government-to-government agreement; private entities would not participate in the compensation trades.[14]:876

An EmissionsTax would pay land owners to be stewards of forests to counter the financial incentive to build commercial and housing developments.


Regrowth - Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Forest regrowth in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington state, USA

Sub-Saharan Africa

One plan in this region involves planting a nine-mile width of trees on the Southern Border of the Sahara Desert.[15] The Great Green Wall initiative is a pan-African proposal to “green” the continent from west to east in order to battle desertification. It aims at tackling poverty (through employment of workers required for the project) and the degradation of soils in the Sahel-Saharan region, focusing on a strip of land of 15 km (9 mi) wide and 7,500 km (4,750 mi) long from Dakar to Djibouti.[16]


Natural Resources Canada (The Department of Natural Resources) states that the national forest cover was decreased by 0.34% from 1990 to 2015, and Canada has the lowest deforestation rate in the world.[17] The forest industry is one of the main industries in Canada which contributes about 7% of Canadian economy[18], and about 9% of the forests on earth are in Canada.[19] Therefore, Canada has many policies and laws to commit to sustainable forest management. For example, 94% of Canadian forests are public land, and the government obligates planting trees after harvesting to public forests.[20]


In China, extensive replanting programs have existed since the 1970s, which have had overall success. The forest cover has increased from 12% of China's land area to 16%. However, specific programs have had limited success. The "Green Wall of China", an attempt to limit the expansion of the Gobi Desert is planned to be 2,800 miles (4,500 km) long and to be completed in 2050. China plans to plant 26 billion trees in the next decade; that is, two trees for every Chinese citizen per year.[21] China requires that students older than 11 years old plant one tree a year until their high school graduation.[22]

Between 2013 and 2018, China planted 338,000 square kilometres of forests, at a cost of $82.88 billion[23]. By 2018, 21.7% of China's territory was covered by forests, a figure the government wants to increase to 26% by 2035. The total area of China is 9,596,961 square kilometres (see China), so 412,669 square kilometres more needs to be planted[24]. According to the government's plan, by 2050, 30% of China’s territory should be covered by forests[25].


Reforestation is required as part of the federal forest law. 31% of Germany is forested, according to the second forest inventory of 2001–2003. The size of the forest area in Germany increased between the first and the second forest inventory due to forestation of degenerated bogs and agricultural areas.[26]


Jadav Payeng had received national awards for reforestation efforts, known as the "Molai forest". He planted 1400 hectares of forest on the bank of river Brahmaputra alone. There are active reforestation efforts throughout the country. In 2016, India more than 50 million trees were planted in Uttar Pradesh and in 2017, more than 66 million trees were planted in Madhya Pradesh. [27] In addition to this and individual efforts, there are startup companies, such as Afforest, that are being created over the country working on reforestation.[28]


Since 1948, large reforestation and afforestation projects were accomplished in Israel. 240 millions trees have been planted. The carbon sequestration rate in these forests is similar to the European temperate forests[29]


The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery explain that about two-thirds of Japanese land is covered with forests[30], and it was almost unchanged from 1966 to 2012.[31] Japan needs to reduce 26% of green house gas emission from 2013 by 2030 to accomplish Paris Agreement and is trying to reduce 2% of them by forestry.[32]

Mass environmental and human-body pollution along with relating deforestation, water pollution, smoke damage, and loss of soils caused by mining operations in Ashio, Tochigi became the first environmental social issue in Japan, efforts by Shōzō Tanaka had grown to large campaigns against copper operation. This led to the creation of 'Watarase Yusuichi Pond', to settle the pollution which is a Ramsar site today. Reforestation was conducted as a part of afforestation due to inabilities of self-recovering by the natural land itself due to serious soil pollution and loss of woods consequence in loss of soils for plants to grow, thus needing artificial efforts involving introducing of healthy soils from outside. Starting since in 1897, about 50% of once bald mountains backed to green.[33]


For thousands of years, Lebanon was covered by forests, one particular species of interest, Cedrus libani was exceptionally valuable and was almost eliminated due to lumbering operations for such purposes as the construction of King Solomon’s great temple and palace.[34] Virtually every ancient culture that shared the Mediterranean Sea harvested these trees from the Phoenicians who used cedar, pine and juniper to build their famous boats to the Romans, who cut them down for lime-burning kilns, to early in the 20th century when the Ottomans used much of the remaining cedar forests of Lebanon as fuel in steam trains.[35] Despite two millennia of deforestation, forests in Lebanon still cover 13.6% of the country, and other wooded lands represent 11%.[36]

Law No. 558, which was ratified by the Lebanese Parliament on April 19, 1996, aims to protect and expand existing forests, classifying all forests of cedar, fir, high juniper (juniperus excelsa), evergreen cypress (cupressus sempervirens) and other trees, whether diverse or homogeneous, whether state-owned or not as conserved forests.[37]

Since 2011, more than 600,000 trees, including cedars and other native species, have been planted throughout Lebanon as part of the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative, which aims to restore Lebanon's native forests.[38] Projects financed locally and by international charity are performing extensive reforestation of cedar being carried out in the Mediterranean region, particularly in Lebanon and Turkey, where over 50 million young cedars are being planted annually.

The Lebanon Reforestation Initiative has been working since 2012 with tree nurseries throughout Lebanon to help grow stronger tree seedlings that are better suited to survive once planted.[39]


Of the country's 78 million hectares of land in total the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry aims to increase Turkey's forest cover to 30% by 2023.[40]

4000 years ago Anatolia was 60% to 70% forested.[41] Although the flora of Turkey remains more biodiverse than many European countries deforestation occurred during both prehistoric[42] and historic times, including the Roman[43] and Ottoman[44] periods.

Since the first forest code of 1937 the official government definition of 'forest' has varied.[45] According to the current definition 21 million hectares are forested, an increase of about 1 million hectares over the past 30 years, but only about half is 'productive'.[46] However according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization definition of forest[47] about 12 million hectares was forested in 2015,[48] about 15% of the land surface.

The amount of greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey removed by forests is very uncertain.[49] As of 2019 however a new assessment is being made with the help of satellites and new soil measurements and better information should be available by 2020.[50]

According to the World Resources Institute "Atlas of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities" 50 million hectares are potential forest land, a similar area to the ancient Anatolian forest mentioned above.[51] This could help limit climate change in Turkey. To help preserve the biodiversity of Turkey more sustainable forestry has been suggested.[41]

United States

It is the stated goal of the US Forest Service to manage forest resources sustainably. This includes reforestation after timber harvest, among other programs.[52]

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that forest occupied about 46% of total U.S. land in 1630 (when European settlers began to arrive in large numbers), but had decreased to 34% by 1910. After 1910, forest area has remained almost constant although U.S. population has increased substantially.[53] In the late 19th century the U.S. Forest Service was established in part to address the concern of natural disasters due to deforestation, and new reforestation programs and federal laws such as The Knutson-Vandenberg Act (1930) were implemented. The U.S. Forest Service states that human-directed reforestation is required to support natural regeneration and the agency engages in ongoing research into effective ways to restore forests.[54]


In 2018, Pakistan's prime minister declared that the country will plant 10 billions trees in the next five years.[55]


Ecosia is a non-profit organisation based in Berlin, Germany that has planted over 50 million trees worldwide as of April 2019.

Trees for the Future has assisted more than 170,000 families, in 6,800 villages of Asia, Africa and the Americas, to plant over 35 million trees.[56]

Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, founded the Green Belt Movement which planted over 47 million trees to restore the Kenyan environment.[57]

Shanghai Roots & Shoots, a division of the Jane Goodall Institute, launched The Million Tree Project in Kulun Qi, Inner Mongolia to plant one million trees to stop desertification and alleviate global warming.[58][59]


Reforestation competes with other land uses, such as food production, livestock grazing and living space, for further economic growth. Reforestation often has the tendency to create large fuel loads, resulting in significantly hotter combustion than fires involving low brush or grasses. Reforestation can divert large amounts of water from other activities. Reforesting sometimes results in extensive canopy creation that prevents growth of diverse vegetation in the shadowed areas and generating soil conditions that hamper other types of vegetation. Trees used in some reforesting efforts (e.g., Eucalyptus globulus) tend to extract large amounts of moisture from the soil, preventing the growth of other plants.

There is also the risk that, through a forest fire or insect outbreak, much of the stored carbon in a reforested area could make its way back to the atmosphere.[8]:1456 Reduced harvesting rates and fire suppression have caused an increase in the forest biomass in the western United States over the past century. This causes an increase of about a factor of four in the frequency of fires due to longer and hotter dry seasons.[8]:1456

See also


  1. ^ "Reforestation - Definitions from". Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  2. ^ Gillis, Justin (2016-05-16). "In Latin America, Forests May Rise to Challenge of Carbon Dioxide". NYT. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2013-03-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Sustainable Forest Management". Key Timberland Statistics. Weyerhaeuser. 10 June 2011. Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Forest plantation yields in the tropical and subtropical zone". Forestry Department. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Reforestation and Afforestation". Green Collar Association. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  7. ^ Wood well, G.M.; North, WJ (1988-12-16). "CO2 Reduction and Reforestation". Science. 242 (4885): 1493–1494. doi:10.1126/science.242.4885.1493-a. PMID 17788407.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Canadell, J.G.; M.R. Raupach (2008-06-13). "Managing Forests for Climate Change" (PDF). Science. 320 (5882): 1456–1457. CiteSeerX doi:10.1126/science.1155458. PMID 18556550.
  9. ^ "Shanghai Roots & Shoots -".
  10. ^ "Million Tree Project :: Home".
  11. ^ "Five tree fee for a Java wedding". BBC News. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  12. ^ a b "A changing climate of opinion?". The Economist. 387: 93–96. 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  13. ^ Adam, David (2009-02-18). "Fifth of world carbon emissions soaked up by extra forest growth, scientists find". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  14. ^ a b Streck, C.; S.M. Scholz (2006). "The role of forests in global climate change: whence we come and where we go". International Affairs. 82 (5): 861–879. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2006.00575.x.
  15. ^ "African countries are building a "Great Green Wall" to beat back the Sahara desert".
  16. ^ "Real happenings and Facts".
  17. ^ "Indicator: Forest area". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. August 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  18. ^ "How does the forest industry contribute to the economy?". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 2014-08-26. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Sustainable forest management in Canada". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 2013-04-16. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Deforestation in Canada: Key myths and facts". Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada. 2013-06-27. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  21. ^ "China to plant 26 billion trees over next decade - People's Daily Online".
  22. ^ ?
  23. ^ Breyer, Melissa (January 11, 2018). "China is planting 16.3 million acres of forest this year". Treehugger. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  24. ^ Chow, Lorraine. "China to Plant New Forests the Size of Ireland This Year". Ecowatch. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  25. ^ Li, Weida. "China to increase forest coverage to 23 percent by 2020". GBTimes. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Grußwort - Bundeswaldinventur".
  27. ^ "Record 66 million trees planted in 12 hours in India". 2017-07-04.
  28. ^ "The Man Who Has Created 33 Forests in India - He Can Make One in Your Backyard Too!". 2014-07-11.
  29. ^ Brand, David; Moshe, Itzhak; Shaler, Moshe; Zuk, Aviram; Riov,, Dr Joseph (2011). Forestry for People (PDF). UN. pp. 273–280. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Annual Report on Forest and Forestry in Japan" (PDF). Forestry Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Change in Forest Cover (2016)" (PDF). The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, Forestry Agency. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Promotion of International Efforts (2016)" (PDF). The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  33. ^ "日光 足尾 体験植樹 案内".
  34. ^ "Forest and landscape restoration in Lebanon". Britannica. Archived from the original on 2018-03-17. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  35. ^ "Lebanon National Forest Program 2015-2025, Ministry of Agriculture" (PDF).
  36. ^ "Forest and landscape restoration in Lebanon". FAO. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Lebanese Forest Conservation Law". Jabal Rihan. 24 July 1996. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
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  50. ^ Turkstat report (2019)
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Further reading

External links


Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees (forestation) in an area where there was no previous tree cover.Many government and non-governmental organizations directly engage in programs of afforestation to create forests, increase carbon capture and carbon sequestration, and help to anthropogenically improve biodiversity.

Assisted natural regeneration

Assisted natural regeneration (ANR) is the human protection and preservation of natural tree seedlings in forested areas. Seedlings are, in particular, protected from undergrowth and extremely flammable plants such as Imperata grass. In addition to protection efforts, new trees are planted when needed or wanted (enrichment planting). With ANR, forests grow faster than they would naturally, resulting in a significant contribution to carbon sequestration efforts. It also serves as a cheaper alternative to reforestation due to decreased nursery needs.

ANR is labor-intensive and requires nearly constant maintenance of selected forest areas. can be effective as a community project, and people involved may see significant benefits and jobs if funding is available. However, if the forestation is not a positive change, for example if the land is needed for food, the people of the community will be unlikely to get involved and produce successful ANR.

The most effective way to implement ANR is very site-specific, and many nations provide guidebooks on how to select and maintain an ANR project.

Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. Originally for young men ages 18–25, it was eventually expanded to ages 17–28. Robert Fechner was the first director of this agency, succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner's death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 (about $570 in 2017) per month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).

The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Sources written at the time claimed an individual's enrollment in the CCC led to improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. The CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources, and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.

The CCC operated separate programs for veterans and Native Americans. Approximately 15,000 Native Americans participated in the program, helping them weather the Great Depression.By 1942, with World War II and the draft in operation, the need for work relief declined, and Congress voted to close the program.

Deforestation in Borneo

Deforestation in Borneo has taken place on an industrial scale since the 1960s. Borneo, the third largest island in the world, divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, was once covered by dense tropical and subtropical rainforests.

In the 1980s and 1990s the forests of Borneo were leveled at a rate unprecedented in human history, burned, logged and cleared, and commonly replaced with agriculture. The deforestation continued through the 2000s at a slower pace, alongside the expansion of palm oil plantations. Half of the annual global tropical timber procurement is from Borneo. Palm oil plantations are rapidly encroaching on the last remnants of primary rainforest. Much of the forest clearance is illegal.

The World Wildlife Fund divides Borneo into a number of distinct ecoregions including the Borneo lowland rain forests which cover most of the island, with an area of 427,500 square kilometres (165,100 sq mi), the Borneo peat swamp forests, the Kerangas or Sundaland heath forests, the Southwest Borneo freshwater swamp forests, and the Sunda Shelf mangroves. The Borneo mountain rainforests lie in the central highlands of the island, above the 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) elevation. These areas represent habitat for many endangered species; for example, orangutans, elephants and rare endemics such as the elusive Hose's civet. The Bornean orangutan has been a critically endangered species since 2016.

As well as Borneo's importance in biodiversity conservation and as a carbon sink, the forests have significance for water security and food sovereignty for local communities of indigenous peoples.

Forest cover

Forest cover in general refers to the relative (in percent) or sure (in square kilometers/square miles) land area that is covered by forests or the forest canopy or open woodland.

Forest cover is one category of terrestrial land cover. Land cover is the observed physical features, both natural and manmade, that occupy the earth’s immediate surface ... forest cover is defined as 25% or greater canopy closure at the Landsat pixel scale (30-m × 30-m spatial resolution) for trees >5 m in height

Global forest cover, however crucial for soil health, the water cycle, climate and air quality it is, is severely threatened by deforestation everywhere, as a direct consequence of agriculture, logging, and mining all of which can be attributed to human overpopulation.

Forest cover can be increased by reforestation and afforestation efforts, but loss of old-growth forests is irreversible in terms of its ecological services.

Global forest cover has been estimated to be 30% or 40 million square kilometres (4.3×1014 sq ft) in 2006 with 12-yearly losses (2000-2012) amounting to 2.3 million square kilometres (2.5×1013 sq ft) and reforestation gains about 0.8 million square kilometres (8.6×1012 sq ft).

In particular, forest cover may refer to

Forest cover by state in the United States

Forest cover by state or territory in Australia

Forest cover by province or territory in Canada

Forest cover by state in India

Forest cover by federal subject in Russia

Forest restoration

Forest restoration is defined as “actions to re-instate ecological processes, which accelerate recovery of forest structure, ecological functioning and biodiversity levels towards those typical of climax forest” i.e. the end-stage of natural forest succession. Climax forests are relatively stable ecosystems that have developed the maximum biomass, structural complexity and species diversity that are possible within the limits imposed by climate and soil and without continued disturbance from humans (more explanation here). Climax forest is therefore the target ecosystem, which defines the ultimate aim of forest restoration. Since climate is a major factor that determines climax forest composition, global climate change may result in changing restoration aims.Forest restoration is a specialized form of reforestation, but it differs from conventional tree plantations in that its primary goals are biodiversity recovery and environmental protection.

Forest transition

Forest transition refers to a geographic theory describing a reversal or turnaround in land-use trends for a given territory from a period of net forest area loss (i.e., deforestation) to a period of net forest area gain. The term "landscape turnaround" has also been used to represent a more general recovery of natural areas that is independent of biome type.


Forestation is the establishment of forest growth on areas that either had forest or lacked it naturally. In the first case, the process is called reforestation, while the second is called afforestation.

Forestry in Ethiopia

In the late nineteenth century, about 30% of Ethiopia was covered with forest. The clearing of land for agricultural use and the cutting of trees for fuel gradually changed the scene, and today forest areas have dwindled to less than 4% of Ethiopia's total land. The northern parts of the highlands are almost devoid of trees. However, about 45,000 square kilometres of dense forest exist in the southern and southwestern sections of the highlands. Some of these include coniferous forests, found at elevations above l,600 meters, but a majority of the forestland consists primarily of woodlands found in drier areas of the highlands and in the drier areas bordering the highlands.Lumber from the coniferous forests is important to the construction industry. The broadleaf evergreen forests furnish timber that is used in construction and in the production of plywood. The woodlands are a major source of firewood and charcoal. Certain trees --boswellia and species of commiphora—are of special economic significance. Both grow in the arid lowlands and produce gums that are the bases for frankincense and myrrh. A species of acacia found in several parts of the country is a source of gum arabic used in the manufacture of adhesives, pharmaceutical products, and confectionery. The eucalyptus, an exotic tree introduced in the late nineteenth century and grown mainly near urban areas, is a valuable source of telephone and telegraph poles, tool handles, furniture, and firewood. It is also a major source of the material from which fiberboard and particleboard are made.Data on forestry's contribution to the economy are not readily available, largely because most GDP tables aggregate data on forestry, fishing, and hunting. In 1980/81 forestry accounted for 2.5% of GDP at constant 1960/61 factor cost and 5.4% of the share attributable to the agricultural sector.Before 1974 about half of the forestland was privately owned or claimed, and roughly half was held by the government. There was little government control of forestry operations prior to the Ethiopian revolution. The 1975 land reform nationalized forestland and sawmills, which existed mostly in the south. The government controlled harvesting of forestland, and in some cases individuals had to secure permits from local peasant associations to cut trees. But this measure encouraged illegal logging and accelerated the destruction of Ethiopia's remaining forests. To ensure that conservation activity conformed with government policy and directives on land use, reforestation programs were organized through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development or district offices that planned, coordinated, and monitored all work. The local peasant associations lacked decision-making authority.

Groasis Waterboxx

The Groasis Waterboxx is a device designed to help grow trees in dry areas. It was invented and developed by Dutch former flower exporter Pieter Hoff, and won the Popular Science Green Tech Best of What’s New Innovation of the year award for 2010.

Hoedads Reforestation Cooperative

The Hoedads Reforestation Cooperative (formally, Hoedads Cooperative Inc.) was a worker-owned tree planting and forestry labor cooperative based in Eugene, Oregon, United States. It was active throughout the American West from 1971 to 1994. For several years they were country's largest worker-owned cooperative. They were noted for their success in applying the cooperative model successfully to treeplanting. They were also known for their experimentation with and early embrace of concepts such as environmentalism, feminism and alternative economics.The Hoedads took their name from their use of the "hoedad" (or "hoedag"), a hand implement similar to a hoe used to plant bare-root trees on steep slopes (Hartzell 1987: 29, 45-46).

Kouré, Niger

Kouré is a rural community located 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of Niamey, the capital of Niger. The town lies on both sides of the road from Niamey to Dallol Bosso.

Kouré is best known for West African giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta), an endemic subspecies of West Africa.

The population of giraffes in Niger reached a low of 50 animals 1984, but according to the Association to Safeguard Giraffes in Niger (ASGN) there are now 170 of them.

ASGN and its partners have assisted the local community with bore holes, cereal banks, grain mills, seeds and fertilizer to encourage them to protect the giraffes, which can be destructive to crops.

However, the population of giraffes is threatened by loss of the tiger bush habitat, which is gradually being cleared for agriculture.The African Wildlife Foundation is helping with reforestation.

In August 2010, a tree nursery in Kouré produced about 3,500 seedlings. AWF planned to establish another nursery in the area in 2011.In July 2011 the Association des Scouts du Niger ran an international solidarity camp at Kouré.

About 300 young people aged 18 to 25 years from various countries attended.

The theme was promoting youth participation in development through a culture of peace, tolerance and nonviolence.

Land management

Land management is the process of managing the use and development (in both urban and rural settings) of land resources. Land resources are used for a variety of purposes which may include organic agriculture, reforestation, water resource management and eco-tourism projects. Land management can have positive or negative effects on the terrestrial ecosystems. Land being over- or misused can degrade and reduce productivity and disrupt natural equilibriums.


Pottiputki is a planting tool that was created by Tapio Saarenketo in the early 1970s, used for manual planting of containerized seedlings. The planters can work in an ergonomically correct position while maintaining high productivity, making the task both fast and comfortable. It is more effective, but more expensive than the traditional mattock.

The tool is a tube (of ca. 90cm long); a pedal opens a pointed beak (also described as a type of scissors) at the base, which creates the planting hole; at the same time a seedling (for instance in a paper pot) is dropped down the tube, and after the seedling is free from the tube, the beak can be closed again with a thumb controlled latch that releases a spring, so the apparatus is ready for another seedling. The entire operation is so easy that an "experienced tree planter can operate almost at walking pace and plant several thousand trees in a day".

Secondary forest

A secondary forest (or second-growth forest) is a forest or woodland area which has re-grown after a timber harvest, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident. It is distinguished from an old-growth forest (primary or primeval forest), which has not recently undergone such disruption, and complex early seral forest, as well as third-growth forests that result from harvest in second growth forests. Secondary forest regrowing after timber harvest differs from forest regrowing after natural disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, or windthrow because the dead trees remain to provide nutrients, structure, and water retention after natural disturbances. However, often after natural disturbance the timber is harvested and removed from the system, in which case the system more closely resembles secondary forest rather than complex early seral forest.

Seed ball

Seed balls, also known as "earth balls" or nendo dango (Japanese: 粘土団子), consist of a variety of different seeds rolled within a ball of clay, preferably volcanic pyroclastic red clay. Various additives may be included, such as humus or compost. These are placed around the seeds, at the center of the ball, to provide microbial inoculants. Cotton-fibres or liquefied paper are sometimes mixed into the clay in order to strengthen it, or liquefied paper mash coated on the outside to further protect the clay ball during sowing by throwing, or in particularly harsh habitats.

Tree planting

Tree-planting is the process of transplanting tree seedlings, generally for forestry, land reclamation, or landscaping purpose. It differs from the transplantation of larger trees in arboriculture, and from the lower cost but slower and less reliable distribution of tree seeds.

In silviculture the activity is known as reforestation, or afforestation, depending on whether the area being planted has or has not recently been forested. It involves planting seedlings over an area of land where the forest has been harvested or damaged by fire, disease or human activity.

Tree planting is carried out in many different parts of the world, and strategies may differ widely across nations and regions and among individual reforestation companies. Tree planting is grounded in forest science, and if performed properly can result in the successful regeneration of a deforested area. Reforestation is the commercial logging industry's answer to the large-scale destruction of old growth forests, but a planted forest rarely replicates the biodiversity and complexity of a natural forest.Because trees remove carbon dioxide from the air as they grow, tree planting can be used as a geoengineering technique to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Desert greening projects are also motivated by improved biodiversity and reclamation of natural water systems, but also improved economic and social welfare due to an increased number of jobs in farming and forestry.

Tree shelter

A tree shelter, or tree guard, is a type of plastic shelter used to nurture trees in the early stages of their growth. Tree shelters are also sometimes known as Tuley tubes or tree tubes.

The purpose of tree shelters is to protect young trees from browsing by herbivores by forming a physical barrier along with providing a barrier to chemical spray applications. Additionally, tree tubes accelerate growth by providing a mini-greenhouse environment that reduces moisture stress, channels growth into the main stem and roots and allows efficient control of weeds that can rob young seedlings of soil moisture and sunlight.

Tree shelters were invented in Scotland in 1979 by Graham Tuley (Lantagne 1997). They are particularly popular in the UK in landscape-scale planting schemes and their use has been established in the United States since 2000. About 1 million shelters were in use in the United Kingdom in 1983–1984 (Tuley 1985), and 10 million were produced in 1991 (Potter 1991).

Many variations of tree shelters exist. There is considerable debate among tree shelter manufacturers as to the ideal colour, size, shape and texture for optimal plant growth.

One style used in northern climates of North America has a height of 5 feet to offer the best protection from deer browse, with vent holes in the upper portion of the tube to allow for hardening off of hardwood trees going into the winter months and no vent holes in the lower portion to shield seedlings from herbicide spray and rodent damage.

Urban reforestation

Urban reforestation is the practice of planting trees, typically on a large scale, in urban environments. It sometimes includes also urban horticulture and urban farming. Reasons for practicing urban reforestation include urban beautification, increasing shade, modifying the urban climate, improving air quality, and restoration of urban forests after a natural disaster.

Ecology and
Tree planting/
Fire suppression
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