The good news, as such things are reckoned, is that a recent U.N. study found a net loss of 7.3 million forest hectares worldwide in 2005, down from 8.9 million hectares in the 1990s.
Yet massive, government-led reforestation programs around the world are often met by persistent destruction at the grassroots.
Burkina Faso exemplifies the problem, in miniature. A government program there to reforest lands in the sub-Saharan region aims to plant nine million new trees — yet two-thirds of the nation’s forests have been cleared for agriculture, and growing populations are increasing the pressure for more farming.
Overgrazing and illegal timber-cutting are also to blame, according to reports.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand, a genetic experiment to study tree reproduction was disrupted when activists broke into a research compound and cut down 20 pine trees, to protest what they called lax security around potentially harmful research.
NYMHM HAS THE DETAILS:
“It Takes a Tree to Save a Village”
July 31, 2008
“For Forests Under Fire, a Slight Return”
Jul. 2, 2008
“Genetically Engineered Trees Cut Down”
Jan. 24, 2008