To restore all the forest we lost around the world, we need to plant trees. We lost 50% of all the forests, mainly in Asia and Africa. If we look at the fires in the Amazon and USA, we will lose even more. Forests can stop runaway global heating, encourage rainfall, guarantee clean water, reduce air pollution, and provide livelihoods for local people and reserves for rare wildlife.
In March 2019 the United Nations announced a Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and has set a target to restore 350m hectares – an area bigger than India – by 2030. India itself has pledged to plant 13m hectares of forest by 2020, Latin America is aiming at 20m hectares and African countries 100m hectares by 2030. China’s aspiration is to plant an area of forest as large as Ireland every year. Trees are increasingly hailed as a solution for climate-stressed cities too, preventing overheating and reducing air pollution. In England, more than 130,000 trees are to be planted in towns and cities over the next two years. But it will take years to restore the forests. We need new technology and projects to seed and to grow the trees faster.