From Sky news
An area of forests larger than France has regrown around the world since 2000, new data suggests.
A mapping study undertaken by the Trillion Trees project found that almost 59 million hectares of forests have grown back worldwide since the turn of the millennium.
The regrown forest area could store almost 5.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is more than the annual emissions of the US.
But environmentalists warn “vastly” more hectares of trees are being burned and cut down each year.
The study is a joint venture between WWF, BirdLife International and Wildlife Conservation Society, which looks at areas around the world where woodlands are regenerating.
They range from active restoration, where native trees and shrubs are planted, assisted natural regeneration, where the forest is encouraged to regrow by measures such as clearing invasive species or fencing land to prevent grazing and “spontaneous natural regeneration” where trees come back of their own accord.
The study highlights areas such as the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, where 4.2 million hectares have regrown since 2000, through planned efforts to restore the forest, more responsible industry practices and human migration to cities.
In Mongolia’s northern boreal forests, the study suggests 1.2 million hectares of forest have regenerated in the last 20 years, in part down to work undertaken by WWF and the Mongolian government’s increased emphasis on protected areas.