15 ways to reforest the planet

Newswise: Scientists call for a ‘decade of global action’ to reforest the planet, following the overnight publication of a thematic international journal led by researchers at Australia’s Sunshine Coast University.

The historical number of the Royal Society’s philosophical transactions reveals the latest scientific advances in forest restoration with the aim of benefiting both people and nature.

“This paves the way for evidence-based action plans on the ground for the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration,” said Professor Andy Marshall of UniSC’s Institute of Forestry Research.

Professor Marshall said it was exciting to see the strong focus on forests at this week’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, with Australia joining world leaders in pledging to halt forest loss and degradation. of the earth by 2030.

He said the recommendations in the new issue of the journal combine research findings with knowledge and experience from many countries.

“Our goals are ambitious and intended to achieve long-term success by learning from the past, from choosing the right location and restoration method to mitigating socioeconomic pressures, weather extremes, and human-wildlife interactions.” , said.

“Nearly 200 authors from 27 countries and the United Nations task force are working to ensure that these findings truly make a difference in forest restoration and inspire action around the world, particularly in the developing tropics where it has been carried out. carried out much of this research.

Professor Marshall’s lead article lists 15 essential breakthroughs for science to help restore the world’s forested landscapes.

“Forests are crucial to the health and economies of our planet, but they need to be better planned, managed and monitored to ensure sustainable benefits for people and nature,” he said.

He said careful planning of future forestry projects could boost species biodiversity, carbon sinks, economic development and people’s livelihoods.

“Evidence provides scientific support for campaigns by environmental groups using the slogan Plantations are not forests, recognizing that planting trees is not always the right approach to restoration, and that restoration must consider the underlying ecology, population local and ultimate reasons. to plant the trees.”

UniSC participates in seven of the collaborative articles, leading five of them:
• Fifteen Scientific Advances Essential for Effective Restoration of the World’s Forest Landscapes, by Professor Andrew Marshall and colleagues;
• Monitoring Tree Diversity Recovery During Tropical Forest Restoration in Costa Rica: Lessons from Long-Term Trajectories of Natural Regeneration, by Professor Robin Chazdon and colleagues;
• Application of a Community Capability Curve framework to reforestation to support success in the Philippines, by Professor John Herbohn and colleagues;
• A field-based assessment of the potential for landscape restoration at a biodiversity hotspot in Tanzania, by Professor Marshall with Abigail Wills of York University and colleagues;
• How certified community forests in Tanzania impact forest restoration and human well-being, by Dr Robin Loveridge of York University with project leader Professor Marshall and colleagues.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Ross Young, said UniSC’s contribution to the journal was an honor and showcased the global relevance and expertise of its researchers.

“The University of the Sunshine Coast was ranked the best Queensland university in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN,” he said.

“This success reflects UniSC’s long-standing commitment to sustainability research and climate action.”
Other selected articles in the magazine:
• Implications of tropical cyclones on damage and possible recovery and restoration of logged forests in Vietnam;
• How animal seed dispersal recovers within 40 years of passive restoration in a forested landscape;
• How restoration success in former Amazonian mines is driven by soil amendment and proximity to forest;
• Evaluate tree restoration interventions for well-being and ecological outcomes in rural tropical landscapes, with the goal of preventing conflicts such as large animals roaming crops and farms;
• The impacts of forest fires on restoration, particularly in tall, humid eucalyptus forests.

Professor Marshall is also Principal Investigator of ForCE (Forest Restoration and Climate Experiment) and Founding Director of Reforest Africa.

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