Restore and protect tropical forests

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#MoveTheDate

7
Days

Based on scenarios calculated by Project Drawdown, restoring and protecting tropical forests can move Earth Overshoot Day 7 days by 2050.

What is the solution?

Restore degraded forests by cultivating and planting native seedlings and removing invasive species; release non-forest land-use areas and allow them to regrow naturally; and protect existing tropical forests by preventing them from loss and degradation.

This solution improves our resource security in the planet category.

How does it #MoveTheDate?

Restoring, releasing, and protecting tropical forests helps reverse the impact of climate change by improving carbon sequestration while simultaneously protecting habitats, increasing biodiversity, improving soil quality, and preserving the flora and fauna of the local ecosystems.

How is it scalable?

Under a conservative restoration model, 160 million hectares of degraded land area can be restored by 2050.

What is the solution?

Restore degraded forests by cultivating and planting native seedlings and removing invasive species; release non-forest land-use areas and allow them to regrow naturally; and protect existing tropical forests by preventing them from loss and degradation.

This solution improves our resource security in the planet category.

How does it #MoveTheDate?

Restoring, releasing, and protecting tropical forests helps reverse the impact of climate change by improving carbon sequestration while simultaneously protecting habitats, increasing biodiversity, improving soil quality, and preserving the flora and fauna of the local ecosystems.

How is it scalable?

Under a conservative restoration model, 160 million hectares of degraded land area can be restored by 2050.

tropical forest aerial view

Tropical reforestation is a powerful solution supporting the fight against climate change. Large scale restoration of tropical forests would allow more carbon to be sequestered from the atmosphere. Additionally, tropical forest regrowth is often rapid and results in impressive rates of carbon sequestration, but several factors may affect the rate of forest recovery especially in former agricultural lands. Areas that have been used for pasture or industrial scale agriculture recover much slower due to compact and nutrient poor soils as well as conditions inhibiting seed growth and establishment such as lack of seed-dispersing animals, aggressive pasture grasses, and seed predation.

Given the limited resources available for restoration, it is important to assess the factors limiting forest restoration and decide on an optimal restoration strategy that maximizes carbon sequestration while also providing a suitable habitat for the local flora and fauna.

Recent research has confirmed that tropical forests are the largest natural sink on the planet and are now weakening as carbon sinks due to deforestation, degradation, and warming, droughts, and fires (1,2). Some tropical forests are under so much stress that they have even become CO2 net-sources. This elevates the importance of managing and caring for tropical forests and suggests that the estimates presented here are conservative. In other words, tropical reforestation, including avoidance of deforestation, is likely to have a much greater potential to #MoveTheDate than our rough estimates suggest.

Calculations for this solution are based on work done by our friends at Project Drawdown. You can get more information about this solution and their calculation methodology here.

1: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/27/eabe9829
2: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01026-5

There’s no benefit in waiting!

Acting now puts you at a strategic advantage in a world increasingly defined by ecological overshoot. Countless solutions exist that #MoveTheDate. They’re creative, economically viable, and ready to deploy at scale. With them, we can make ourselves more resilient and #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day. If we move the date 6 days each year, humanity can be out of overshoot before 2050.