PerspectiveConservation

Restoring tropical forests from the bottom up

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Science  03 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6324, pp. 455-456
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5432

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Summary

Recent initiatives at regional, national, and global scales have called for unprecedented levels of forest restoration to counteract decades of rapid deforestation (1, 2). Thus far, 30 countries have committed to restore 91 million hectares (ha) of deforested landscapes, an area the size of Venezuela, by 2020; at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, a global target of 350 million ha was set for 2030 (1). These bold targets are motivated by diverse goals, including conserving biodiversity, sequestering carbon, improving the water supply, and sustaining human livelihoods (2, 3). How can these challenging targets be met, given competing land uses and limited funds for restoration?