An area of forest larger than Madagascar has regrown around the world since 2000, concludes an analysis published by Trillion Trees, a joint conservation initiative between BirdLife International, WCS, and WWF. The regrowth, covering 58.9 million hectares and representing 22-25 billion trees, could eventually sequester 5.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide, more than the annual emissions of the United States. The findings, which are based on a combination of satellite data and field surveys, suggest that just under 15% of the world’s 411 million hectares of tree cover loss over the past two decades has been offset by forests that have regrown naturally or been restored through reforestation. Green represents forest/tree cover gain, while gray represents loss. Primary forest loss averaged 3.4 million hectares per year from 2001-2020 according to Global Forest Watch, while forest regeneration averaged 3.3-3.9 million hectares a year since 2000 according to the Trillion Trees analysis. “Deforestation is at the center of our climate crisis, and we must do everything we can to halt it,” said Josefina Braña Varela, vice president and deputy lead for forests at WWF, in a statement. “The analysis provides a positive outlook for natural regeneration—but this growth doesn’t happen without careful planning, increased investment and strong policies in place that lead to an increase in forest cover.” The analysis, which is presented via an Esri ArcGIS map, identified areas that lacked forest before 2000 and have since shown an increase in forest cover up until the year 2018. The analysis excludes…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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