Forests as big as France have grown back since 2000, research shows

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A person plants a seedling at a Planting Life site, a jobs and reforestation program promoted by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in Kopoma, Yucatan state, Mexico, Thursday, April 22, 2021. | Photo Credit: The study found the Atlantic Forest in Brazil regained an estimated 4.2 million hectares — an area roughly the size of the Netherlands — since 2000, something it described as a success story. From Mongolia to southern Brazil, forests big enough to cover France have grown back during the last 20 years, but the gains did not make up for losses elsewhere, a report showed on Tuesday. An analysis of satellite data by a team of researchers led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) revealed that almost 59 million hectares (146 million acres) of forests have regenerated since 2000. That much forest has the potential to absorb 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) — more than the annual emissions of the United States, according to the study. “The data show the enormous potential of natural habitats to recover when given the chance to do so,” said John Lotspeich, executive director of Trillion Trees, the coalition of environmental groups behind the study. “But […]

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