Reforestation and its Importance

art-144-01-12052020

Reforestation plays a vital role in accelerating the recovery of degraded forest areas around the world

In recent decades, more attention is given to reforestation and its importance in accelerating the recovery of degraded forest areas around the world.

Yale University defines reforestation as a “natural or intentional restocking of trees in areas of forest that have been deforested or depleted.”

Activities or disturbances that lead to deforestation or depletion of forest areas can be man-made – excessive logging; agricultural fields being abandoned – or natural – wildfire; climate change; disease infestations.

Reforestation projects are implemented in different ways, depending on ecological contexts, socio-political settings and stakeholder objectives.

They include tree planting, prevention of disturbance (such as fire or grazing), soil amelioration, erosion control and herbicide application, among many others.

Reforesting degraded forest areas is essential for various reasons. It helps prevent soil erosion, expand wildlife habitats and reduce fire-risks.

It can also engage local communities in conservation, and create job opportunities for them, thereby driving environmental sustainability and economic development simultaneously.

Most importantly, reforestation is a means of addressing issues related to climate change by way of reducing the amount of carbon to counter greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring conservation and management of genetic diversity that adapts to the changing climate.

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