Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good news on Planet: Forestation

There is a spot of bright news on the horizon. A recent report put out by the US National Academy of Sciences mentions that forests are actually being maintained in many parts of the world, if not actually increasing. In the last 15 years, the United States and China have shown the greatest gain in forest coverage. Even moreso, it shows a general trend of countries around the world of transitioning to reforestation rather than deforestation.

Below is a picture from the article. The red line shows a neutral area+density forest volume; countries above that line are gaining forest volume and mass; those below are losing it.

This is definitely positive news. However, i would counsel that there remains an issue with logging large, old-growth forest. These venerable trees form the backbone of an ecosystem; they harbor the most water, possess the greatest surface area for CO2 reductions, and anchor the soil the greatest against erosion and other degredation. These trees still need protection from deforestation.

But, allow yourself a smile at this good news, which is so rare in the arena of environmental protection.

Here is an article at Planet Ark about the report.
Here is the report in its entirety from PNAS.

No comments: