India has made ambitious pledges to restore forests to tackle climate change, alongside many other countries. But what that goal looks like in practice is not yet well understood.
The two main methods of reforestation are essential to meeting global reforestation targets: tree planting and natural regeneration, which is when forests are allowed to regrow naturally, sometimes with some human support.
Quality not quantity is what is needed: good husbandry, not the willy-nilly broadcasting of trees on random hectares. Good husbandry will come naturally when fossil fuels are eliminated, and artificial fertilisers a thing of the past, for it is then that people will fully appreciate the true value of land.
Much of the climate debate centers on targets to cut fossil-fuel use, and this is where the majority of resources, campaigning and media focus their attention. But one of the most cost-effective carbon capture technologies is forests, both leaving existing forests alone and rewilding damaged ones.
We don’t want natural climate solutions to be used as a substitute for the rapid and comprehensive decarbonisation of our economies. The science tells us both are needed: the age of carbon offsets is over.
Forests containing several tree species could store twice as much carbon as the average monoculture plantation, research finds. A study looking at the carbon storage of forests in southern China finds that each additional tree species introduced to a plantation could add 6% to its total carbon stocks.
An interview with Joseph Redwood-Martinez about the documentary ‘One day, everything will be free’ which explores a reforestation initiative in Haiti, namely Sadhana Forest.
There are periods in Western Civilization’s history that lack the glamor of the ages of empire or the steady march of progress that seemed to characterize the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans or other remarkably advanced societies. Between military adventures we tend see the periods of hiatus and re-consolidation as “dark” or “middle” ages. Nothing much was going on, we think. These periods comprise a largely un-rediscovered history. The fascination of the dominant university narrative with militarism also leaves out vast areas on the periphery, where a lot of innovation began.