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Want to Restore the World's Forests? Begin with These 'Surprising Seven' Countries

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Organic Transitions page.

There's two billion hectares of land around the world crying out to have their tree cover restored, writes Katie Reytar. But where to begin? Here's seven countries that offer huge reforestation opportunities - and every one of them will take you by surprise ...

The world has lost almost half of its original forest cover, due largely to booming population growth and agricultural expansion.

But even though these forests are gone, there is still a tremendous amount of underutilized and unproductive land that has the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services if trees are returned to the landscape.

Clean water, improved soil fertility, and income from forest products are just a few of the services that these lands, once restored, could provide.

So where in the world are the greatest opportunities for restoration? In collaboration with the University of Maryland and IUCN, and as part of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, WRI recently updated its Atlas of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities.

We found that more than 2 billion hectares of land worldwide have the potential to be restored - and many of them are located in some unexpected places.    


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