NEWS

Monoculture reforestation program overlooks wildlife

09-Sep-2016

New research led by Princeton University and published in the journal Nature Communications finds that China’s Grain-for-Green Program overwhelmingly plants monoculture forests and therefore falls dramatically short of restoring the biodiversity of China’s native forests, which contain many tree species. In its current form, the program fails to benefit, protect and promote biodiversity.

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The researchers conclude that restoring the full complement of native trees that once grew on the land would provide the best outcome for biodiversity. If native forests are unachievable within the current scope of the program, the researchers recommend mixed forests — which contain multiple tree species and more closely resemble natural forests — as a second option. Mixed forests better protect wildlife than monoculture forests, and would not financially burden farmers participating in the program. Both native and mixed forests also help to mitigate climate change.

 Opportunities for biodiversity gains under the world’s largest reforestation programme


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