Forests the size of FRANCE have regrown around the world since 2000
Forests covering an area the size of France have regrown around the world since 2000, storing the equivalent of 5.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, a new study shows.
The Trillion Trees project, founded in 2016 to protect and restore forests worldwide, found that nearly 145 million acres of forests have grown back globally in 21 years.
Study authors have looked at areas around the world where woodlands are regenerating due to ongoing conservation and reforestation efforts.
These efforts in forest growth include active restoration, assisted natural regeneration and spontaneous natural regeneration.
Active restoration involved the most human interaction, with native trees and shrubs planted to assist or even kick start natural regeneration.
With assisted natural regeneration, the forest is encouraged to regrow by measures such as clearing invasive species or fencing land to prevent grazing.
Meanwhile, with 'spontaneous natural regeneration', trees come back of their own accord.
The study highlights regions such as the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, where an area of 10.4 million acres has regrown since 2000.
This was through planned efforts to restore the forest, more responsible industry practices and other factors such as people moving towards the cities.
In Mongolia's northern boreal forests, the study suggests 2.9 million acres of forest have regenerated in the last 20 years, thanks to conservation work by WWF and the Mongolian government's increased emphasis on protected areas.
Central Africa and the boreal forests of Canada are also regeneration hotspots, according to the study, which examined more than 30 years of satellite data.