Previous efforts to restore former coal mine sites in Appalachia have left behind vast swaths of unproductive land. Now, a group of nonprofits and scientists are working to restore native trees to the region — even if it means starting the reclamation process from scratch.
These large, sustained governmental afforestation, reforestation, and forest restoration programs provide evidence for the scale of carbon removals that are achievable through active interventions centered on tree planting and maintenance, and for what is required to achieve such significant results.
Restoring degraded forests has come to be recognized as perhaps just as critical to climate efforts as stopping deforestation, because of how reforestation efforts can enhance forests’ role as a carbon sink.
Silvopasture can be a valuable tool for maximizing forage quality while benefiting livestock and generating income from woodlands. But achieving such goals requires careful planning, attention to detail and lots of hard work.
Published: January 18, 2017In Watkins Glen, New York, 45 minutes from Ithaca, is Angus Glen Farm. Here, the Chedzoy Family runs 100 head of cattle over 310 acres of pasture and silvopasture. Silvopasture is defined as the integration of grazing animals into an existing forest, and/or the establishment of tree rows on grazing land. Brett Chedzoy, in addition to working with Cornell Extension, manages the land’s beef herd and forestry enterprises. Brett’s background is in forestry, but he is both a forester and a grazier.
The Challenge: Tropical DeforestationTropical deforestation is a major contributor to climate change. This is because trees are made up of 50% carbon. When trees are cut down, that carbon is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary contributor to climate change. Through this process, deforestation releases more CO2 than the global contribution of all the world’s cars, planes and trains combined.The root cause of deforestation is people clearing land to grow food or earn an income, usually in the poorest parts of the world. Local poverty drives local deforestation and local deforestation drives global climate change.As a result, the solution to the problem is not as simple as planting new trees.
As a significant CO2 emitter, the food industry is uniquely positioned to tackle the issue through innovation. Katy Askew looks at how food makers can help mitigate – and even reverse – global warming by using their supply chains to rejuvenate farmlands and forests.
MIT selected research of Dr. Michael Hands of the Inga Foundation at its global SOLVE competition to fight climate change and reduce carbon emissions. The Inga Foundation works with farmers and communities to halt the devastating practice of slash and burn agriculture by providing a sustainable, organic and low cost alternative: Inga alley-cropping.