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Podcast: The 411 on forests and reforestation for 2022

  • On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast we look at the major forest and conservation trends coming out of 2021 and take a look ahead to 2022.
  • We speak with Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler, who discusses the year in rainforests that was 2021, the storylines to watch in 2022, and Mongabay’s expanding coverage of environmental science news around the world.
  • We also speak with Swati Hingorani, a senior program officer at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Global Coordinator for the Bonn Challenge Secretariat. Hingorani tells us about the Bonn Challenge’s newly revamped and relaunched Restoration Barometer and how it tracks ecosystem restoration progress being made by countries around the world.

Today we review how the world’s forests fared in 2021 and take a look at the major forest and conservation storylines to watch in 2022.

Listen here:

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says that global deforestation rates have been trending downward since the 1990s, but we’re still losing and degrading forests at an unsustainable pace. We don’t have comprehensive data for 2021 yet, but in 2020 planet Earth lost an area of tree cover larger than the United Kingdom, including more than 4.2 million hectares or more than 10 million acres of primary tropical forests, per data released by the University of Maryland. But we’ve also seen some positive trends over the past few years, from growing recognition of the vital importance of Indigenous traditional knowledge and stewardship to increasing efforts to protect and restore forests around the globe as a means of combating climate change.

Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler joins us to discuss the year that was and the year upcoming. He tells us about the major trends in forest conservation coming out of last year, what to watch for this year, and fills us in on Mongabay’s plans to expand its coverage in 2022.

We also speak with Swati Hingorani, a senior program officer at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Global Coordinator for the Bonn Challenge secretariat, which is housed at the IUCN. Hingorani tells us about the Bonn Challenge’s newly revamped and relaunched Restoration Barometer and how it tracks ecosystem restoration progress being made by countries around the world. She also tells us about general trends in forest and ecosystem restoration and why restoration is so important to building a sustainable future for all life on this planet.

Further reading:

“Rainforests in 2022: A look at the year ahead” by Rhett Butler (4 January 2022)

“The year in rainforests 2021” by Rhett Butler (29 December 2021)

“Global ecosystem restoration progress: How and who’s tracking it?” (22 December 2021

“Beyond tree planting: When to let forests restore themselves” (18 October 2021)

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

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

Further listening:

“Podcast: What do two giant land deals mean for the future of Southeast Asia’s forests?” (9 December 2021)

“Podcast: Natural forest regeneration’s critical role in reforestation goals” (10 November 2021)

“Podcast: Indigenous rights and the future of biodiversity conservation” (29 September 2021)

Big Basin redwood forest. Photo by Rhett Butler.
Pine forest in the Sierra Nevada. Photo by Rhett Butler.

Subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast wherever you get your podcasts from! You can also listen to all episodes here on the Mongabay website. Or you can download our app for Apple and Android devices to gain fingertip access to new shows and all our previous episodes.

Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001

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