Trees & reforestation

A person preparing for planting the plant

Campesinos plant nearly a million trees in deforestation hotspot in the Colombian Amazon

More than 700 campesinos from the municipality of Cartagena del Chairá have started restoring more than 11,000 acres of degraded rainforest in one of Colombia’s deforestation hotspots. In collaboration with researchers from SINCHI, the Amazonian Scientific Research Institute, and the Association of Community Action Boards, the families have recorded more than 600 plant and more than 100 animal species in the area.

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Aral Sea time lapse 1989 2014

Uzbekistan plants millions of acres of forest where the Aral Sea once lay

Instead of trying to restore what used to be the world’s third largest lake, officials from the Uzbekistan Forestry Agency and locals are trying to plant a new forest where it once rested. The main purpose of the afforestation project it to curb the harmful sandstorms and improve the ecosystem by planting desert-tolerant plants. The initiative has so far planted 4.2 million acres of forest, with up to 494,000 acres of new forest planned for 2024.

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Plant coming out of concrete

‘Absolute miracle’ breakthrough provides recipe for zero-carbon cement

Concrete is the world’s most used building material, and making it is a particularly dirty business – concrete production alone is responsible for about 8% of total global CO2 emissions. But according to new research from the University of Cambridge, throwing old concrete into steel-processing furnaces not only purifies iron but produces “reactivated cement” as a byproduct. If done using renewable energy, the process could make for completely carbon-zero cement.

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Young saplings

Microsoft signs another reforestation-based carbon removal megadeal

Microsoft and nature-based climate solutions startup re.green have announced one of the largest-ever carbon removal agreements, with Microsoft purchasing 3 million tons of carbon removal credits over a 15-year period, generated through re.green’s reforestation projects in Brazil. The deal marks the second large-scale Brazil reforestation-focused carbon removal agreement for Microsoft, following a 1.5 million ton offtake deal with Brazil-based Mombak in December 2023, forming part of the tech giant’s initiative to become carbon negative by 2030.

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Acacia tree branch

Democratic Republic of the Congo plants more than 800 million trees between 2019 and 2023

Ten percent of the world’s tropical forests are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). But the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the DRC is losing 1.2 million acres of forest every year. To help address this, a Congolese government program aspired to plant 1 billion trees between 2019 and 2023, aiming to strengthen climate resilience, alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity, and achieved 90% of their goal.

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Young trees

The TREES program has planted tens of millions of trees across Africa since 2015

Since it was founded in 2015, the Trees for the Future (TREES) mass reforestation campaign has convinced and enabled thousands of farmers to plant tens of millions of trees every year. The program spans nine African countries ranging from Senegal and Mali to Tanzania and Kenya. In less than 10 years, it has reportedly restored a combined area of more than 41,000 hectares, which is about seven times the size of Manhattan.

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Dominican Republic forested landscape

The Dominican Republic reforests a fifth of the country in 10 years

Plan Yaque, founded in 2009, brings together 30 organizations to conserve the Yaque River basin, the Dominican Republic’s lifeline. The plan’s simplicity rests in convincing landowners that reforestation is not only an ecological need but also beneficial to their well-being. By 2019, Plan Yaque and other environmental efforts have restored 18 percent of damaged land, ranking as Latin America’s second-largest land recovery.

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Mangrove forest

Pakistan has expanded mangroves nearly threefold between 1986 and 2020

Around the world, mangrove forests have undergone a decades-long decline that’s just now slowing to a halt. But Pakistan bucks this trend. The country’s mangroves expanded from 48,331 hectares in 1986 to 143,930 hectares in 2020, according to a 2022 analysis of satellite data. Many in Pakistan are looking to mangroves to bolster precious fish stocks and defend against the mounting effects of climate change.

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Amazon River Rainforest

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon fell by nearly 50% in 2023 compared to 2022

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva pledged to end deforestation by 2030 when he took office a year ago.
Preliminary data from national space agency Inpe showed 5,153 sq km of the Amazon were cleared in 2023, down from 10,278 sq km in 2022. Rainforest destruction had surged to a 12-year high under his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.

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Forest landscape

Forest restoration planned for Colombia’s Farallones de Cali National Park

The $3.7-million project could take several decades because of the severity of the environmental damage done by illegal mining, which has deforested the park and polluted its rivers with mercury. The 485,226-acre national park is an important biological corridor along Colombia’s Pacific coast.

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