Science reforestation project oregon

Published on July 19th, 2011 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg


5 Successful Reforestation Projects

a reforestation project on former logging land in oregon

Reforestation on former logging land in Oregon

Between the Arab Spring, the weird weather, and, well, the Casey Anthony trial, you may have missed the fact that 2011 was proclaimed “The International Year of Forests” by the UN General Assembly. This celebration is long overdue: forests not only provide habitat to animals and plants, but also purify air and water, prevent soil erosion, and sequester carbon. Additionally, they’re a critical economic resource: globally, about 1.6 billion people rely in whole or in part on forests for their livelihoods.

All of this value they create makes deforestation a critical threat… and, even though the destruction of forest lands has slowed in recent years, we still lose about 18 million acres annually. Agriculture is the biggest cause of deforestation, followed by logging, wildfires, and overgrazing. With that loss of forests, we lose the ecological services on which we all depend… and many of the world’s poorest people suffer from the inability to grow food on degraded land.

Fortunately, the UN General Assembly isn’t the only organization taking a look at the state of the world’s forests: governments, NGOs, and even for-profit companies recognize the environmental and economic losses caused by deforestation, and are working to restore the health of these important ecosystems. Over past decades, a number of reforestation projects around the world have succeeded in bringing forests back to life and health. The Green Belt Movement in Kenya, founded by Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, is one of the most well-known, but efforts to revive forests have succeeded around the world.  Here are a a handful of them…

Next page: South Korea’s massive reforestation efforts

Image credit: Downtowngal at Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at

  • HTML Basics

    I had no idea that the UN proclaimed a year of the forests.

    I guess that where I am it is hard to think that forests are dying. I live in the state of Georgia and everywhere I look there are trees.

    Thanks for the post and am looking forward to learning more about a topic that I am not very familiar with.

    ~HTML Living Dailies Publisher: Garret

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  • Edouard Stenger

    Absolutely great ! Many thanks a lot Jeff for bringing forward these great projects.

    I didn’t know about them all. I would haven’t dreamed about such a huge project in South Korea.

    This reminds me of an old post that you might find interesting : Afforestation projects you should know about,

    Keep up the good work, I am subscribing to your RSS ! :)

  • Chain block

    UN General Assembly has stepped many positive affecting actions to save the forests. Many websites like The Spiritoftrees and The Rainforest are working for making people aware about the importance of their forests. They also keep an eye on places needed for action like if you see any illegitimate actions against foresting you can post it on those sites.

  • Sam

    Hi, I’m writing a paper for a forestry class about the reforestation efforts over the past 50 or so years in South Korea. I was wondering if you could point me towards any sources that would be helpful, even if they are in Korean?

    • Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

      Sam – Any sources I know of are linked here…

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  • Frank Sublett

    Aloha Jeff,

    Great blog with great content! Just wanted to give you a heads up about a project here on the Big Island Hawaii that is doing some great work developing an economically sustainable business model (self funded) that respects the environment and is helping to reestablish the sandalwood/koa tree forest canopy. One distinguishing factor that makes this eco project somewhat unique is that as a Hawaiian forestry management and education organization, the Haloa’aina folks use ancient Hawaiian cultural values and principles as their guiding light when it comes to making decisions that affect the long term health of the forest and land. Truly in the spirit of Aloha. If you’re ever on the Big Island you should definitely contact Jeff Lee, one of the co-founders for a tour of the ranch. It might make a great story for your followers. Don’t know if you allow links on posts but if you do,

    Mahalo nui loa
    Frank Sublett

    • Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

      I’ll definitely check it out, Frank – thanks so much for the heads up!

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