According to research done by T. Mitchell Aide from the University of Puerto Rico, the woody vegetation of Latin America has increased during the last 10 years. The analysis on deforestation trends was published on the 3rd August in the magazine Biotropica.
Reforestation trends in Latin America
The researchers used satellite data to survey the forest area in more than 16000 municipalities within 45 Caribbean and Latin American countries. The relationship between the changes in woody vegetation and, demographic variables like urbanization and migration was also analyzed.
Deforestation is found to be dominant in Latin America even now, but reforestation in dry regions compensates for it, to some extent. The study revealed that, almost 360,000 square kilometers was reforested in steep, dry regions unsuitable for agriculture.
University of Puerto Rico’s biology professor and the lead author of the study, T. Mitchell Aide said that reforestation occurred mostly in large, barely used deforested areas. There was no evidence however, that the process was stimulated by human intervention or conservation policies.
Aide said that most reforestations took place in regions of Columbia and Andes. In these regions, social violence had prompted many people to migrate to different areas. He observed that reforestation occurs mostly as a consequence of socio-economic changes.
In arid regions of Mexico and Brazil, forests increased due to high rainfall and demographic factors. The aggression against illegal drug trade prompted people to leave their habitation in Mexico. Whereas in Brazil, agricultural activity declined, leading to increased forest growth.
Gift Seed Papers and plant more trees
Research student at University of Leeds, Dominick Spracklen asserts the importance of the study. He continues to say that he isn’t very sure about the thesis made, because reforestation could also be part of a natural reversible cycle.
Dominick explains that the increased rainfall over the region for the last decade could’ve led to forest growth. In which case, the reforestation could not be relied upon as a consistent trend.
The study has brought out favorable news for environmentalists but we still have to play our part in conserving the forests. Home-made seed papers are made of paper pulp with seeds embedded in it. The plantable papers can then be crafted into varied products such as wedding invites, book marks and gift tags. In this way, environmental awareness is spread and people are encouraged to grow more trees.