Monday 21 September is the International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. Reforest’Action takes this day as an opportunity to reassert its advocacy for forests rich in a diversity of species. For 10 years, we have been working to restore, preserve and plant forests, with an average of 5 species planted or regenerated per project. A total of 260 different species have been planted by Reforest’Actors in the 10 years since Reforest’Action came into being!
Mixed forests: more benefits and greater resistance to climate hazards
Reforestation projects have been a subject of some debate in recent years, largely due to the questionable quality of certain projects that fail to consider biodiversity, aiming instead to replant a single tree species in ‘eucalyptus fields’, for instance.
Indeed, although the Bonn Challenge aims to restore 350 million hectares of damaged and deforested land by 2030, a study published in 2019 revealed that 45% of national commitments made under the Bonn Challenge and other programmes provided for single-species planting. Stéphane Hallaire, President of Reforest’Action, comments on the subject: ‘Creating a wooded field with nothing but eucalyptus planted cannot be called reforestation. For us, reforestation, in the only meaning that is worthwhile and serves all climate, biodiversity and socio-economic objectives, results in a diversity of tree species being planted or regenerated’.
Because mixed forests containing several species offer two major interests. They are generally hardier in the face of natural hazards (droughts, insect damage, storms, etc.) than single-species forests. They also offer more ecosystem services, which are essential for the well-being of humans and all other living things.
5 species on average per project, 260 total over 10 years.
The actions and vision of Reforest’Action to promote mixed forests are nothing new. At the time we published our ‘Our Future is Named Forest’ report in 2018, we were already advocating for forest renewal based on the diversity of species as an ally.
To date, our projects include an average of 5 tree species, and a total of 260 species have been planted in more than 24 countries in 10 years. In tropical climates, where the concentrated need for global reforestation is greatest, no fewer than 11 species are planted or regenerated on average in our projects. With 57 species there alone, the Reunion Island project is the most diverse of all Reforest’Action’s projects.
Stéphane Hallaire speaks in no uncertain terms: ‘Faced with an increase in droughts that are leading to a growing number of trees dying in France and throughout the world, we no longer have time to procrastinate. Wherever possible and relevant, planting or supporting the regeneration of mixed forests is essential in order to strengthen their resistance to hazards and protect the futures of young generations and living beings’.
Support our reforestation projects brimming with a wealth of tree species the world over!