Tropical Reforestation: Carbon Storage that Matters

Tropical rainforests store massive amounts of carbonNow here is a proposal we can get behind: massive reforestation and ecological restoration [search] of tropical rainforests as a climate change mitigation strategy. Forget minuscule algae, burying, or giant vacuums to sequester carbon. Strictly protect remaining large scale ancient tropical rainforest expanses, and allow and aid surrounding and connecting areas to regenerate. To be maximally ecologically beneficial, it must go beyond reforestation to restoration (the use of the word “engineering” in the article title is misleading and unnecessary). There is tremendous potential to mix in permaculture, agro-forestry and even local small scale eco-forestry into the matrix of protected and regenerating areas, sustaining landscapes, ecosystems, water and local livelihoods rather than only timber yields.
Of course it would depend upon respecting native land tenures, and ensuring local ownership and advancement, but tropical rainforest restoration provides carbon storage on a scale and time frame that could make a difference in maintaining a biosphere. Anyone concerned with biodiversity, climate, ecosystems and continued human existence should immediately get behind these efforts to regrow native tropical tree species. Recreating natural rainforests based upon the models provided by those ancient rainforests still standing is worthy of a lifetime of devotion. It builds upon nature's underestimated resilience. And forget about the clean coal, certified ancient forest logging, ocean fertilization, carbon offsets and other trendy fluff… Now is the time for sufficient ecological policies adequate to belie the coming global ecological collapse.

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4 Responses

  1. Dave Moore says:

    Pay the indigenous people to guard and replant their forests. In logged out areas start with species that build soil nitrogen. Restore high altitude tropical forest like cloudforests as well as rainforest. Remove at least some forest highways and keep human populations sparse, the way tribal peoples traditionally lived.

  2. Jordan Erdos says:

    Given the contentiousness of focusing upon manufacturing and coal emissions, perhaps the Obama administration would be better off turning its attention to an area that is responsible for 20% of all carbon emissions worldwide

  3. Andon says:

    Just as a reminder… Tropical Reforestation IS a form of carbon offsetting. Thats what many of the offsets pay for!!! Remember that when you take a “radical” stand against carbon offsets. Its not trendy fluff, its exactly the solution you're talking about, as long as its properly monitored and managed.

  4. Darrell Fox says:

    I started out many years ago as a marine biologist wanting to do something to help with the environmental problems that were starting to manifest in the 70s. I also came to the same conclusion. The best and simplist tool for carbon sequestration may just be growing tropical hardwoods. I had always planned on doing this on my own, but found so many like minded individuals that I made this my mission and my day job. I think once again that working with human nature to find a way for people to profit by doing the right thing for the planet might be the shortest path to getting the job done. Growing tropical hardwoods wherever they can be grown should be encouraged in every way possible. It is even a great way to protect the oceans of the world.

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