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Podcast: Reforestation is booming, but deforestation rose last year

  • On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we discuss newly released data that shows deforestation rose last year, even while tree planting initiatives took root across the globe.
  • Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler joins us to discuss the 2020 deforestation data, how that data fits into broader trends affecting the world’s forests, and what good news there is to take out of last year’s deforestation numbers.
  • We also welcome Mongabay staff writer Dr. Liz Kimbrough to the program to discuss the newly launched Reforestation Directory, a database of hundreds of reforestation projects from around the world that aims to help donors find the most effective tree-planting initiatives to fund.

Today we discuss newly released data for 2020 that shows an increase in deforestation even as efforts to replant forests are sprouting up all over the world.

Listen here:

Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler joins us to unpack the 2020 deforestation data and how it fits into broader trends affecting global forest cover. We talk about how the Covid pandemic has impacted the world’s forests, how the 2020 fire season turned out, and what good news there is to be found in the deforestation data from last year.

As Rhett tells us, researchers recently determined that an area of forest the size of Madagascar has regrown since 2000. To help us take a closer look at the reforestation boom, we’re also joined on today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast by Mongabay staff writer Liz Kimbrough, who helped assemble Mongabay’s newly launched Reforestation Directory and wrote an accompanying feature article. Liz tells us about the impetus for the Directory, a database of hundreds of reforestation projects from across the globe that shows which tree-planting projects are publicly disclosing information on aspects of reforestation that are key to the projects’ success.

I wrote a recent article on reforestation as part of Mongabay’s Conservation Effectiveness series, so Liz and I ended up having more of a conversation about the findings of our respective coverage of reforestation.

You can explore the Reforestation Directory now, and here are all of the articles referenced in this episode of the Mongabay Newscast:

“Global forest loss increased in 2020” (31 March 2021)

“A Madagascar-sized area of forest has regrown since 2000” (12 May 2021)

“Is planting trees as good for the Earth as everyone says?” (13 May 2021)

“How settlers, scientists, and a women-led industry saved Brazil’s rarest primate” (14 May 2021)

“How to pick a tree-planting project? Mongabay launches transparency tool to help supporters decide” (17 May 2021)

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Tree seedlings for a community-led restoration project in Madagascar. Photo Credit: Alex Antonelli © RBG Kew.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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