Tropical Reforestation: Carbon Storage that Matters
Now 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.