Five great reforestation projects

While browsing old articles on Sustainablog, I found one that I particularly liked on successful huge reforestation projects. I learned many cool things and thought that was well worth a post.

” 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.”

This reminds me of an old post I published in 2009 about afforestation projects. Meanwhile, the Billion Tree Campaign is nearing 12 billion planted trees. This is absolutely stunning !

Without further ado, please find some elements from Sustainablog :

South Korea

Between 1961 and 1995, stocked forest land went up from 4 million hectares to 6.3 million hectares. Total timber rose from 30.8 million cubic meters in 1954 to over 164.4 million cubic meters in 1984. By 2008, 11 billion trees had been planted. About two-thirds of South Korea is now clothed with forest.

Even the DMZ is now “pristine wildlife habitat“… and while South and North Korea are still on hostile terms, the former has helped the latter with tree-planting efforts.


Started in 1990, the Kwimba Reforestation Project in Tanzania was a multinational  and multi-organization effort to reforest land around 40 villages.
(…) During the project’s nine-year run, over 6.4 million trees were planted. One of the most unique aspects of ensuring responsibility for those trees: “tree ownership certificates” which gave the owner title to the tree (regardless of who owned the land on which it was planted).
Before the arrival of Spanish explorers, Mexico’s Mixteca region (in the state of Oaxaca) was covered with forests. Heavy logging and goat herding turned the area into a desert by the late 20th century. The introduction of modern farming techniques without erosion control further degraded the land.

In the 1980s, farmer Jesús León Santos learned of indigenous farming techniques from Guatemalan immigrants. He founded the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development in the Mixteca (CEDICAM) to implement these techniques, which included reforestation as a mean of rebuilding soil.

(…) CEDICAM has not only reforested more than 1000 hectares (with 1 million trees), but helped create more economic opportunity and even gender equality within the region.

The United States

The Appalachian Region Reforestation Initiative began working to reverse the damage done by mining in the mid-200os: according to the United Nations Environment Program, “some 60 million trees have been planted on about 87,000 acres of active mine sites in Appalachia under ARRI’s guidance.”
Not only has this helped restore one of the US’ richest regions in biodiversity, but also created economic alternatives to the mines, particularly in sustainable timber harvesting and the recreation industry.


Gaviotas, Colombia, is much smaller than the other locations we’ve discussed: an ecovillage of about 200 people in the Llanos grasslands region. Yet the United Nations named this community “a model of sustainable development” for its efforts to reforest the surrounding lands… all which have been decimated by the country’s long-running civil war (and which were, at one time, rainforests).

Beginning in the early 1980s, residents of Gaviotas began planting Caribbean pine trees, and ensuring their survival in the acidic soil with the application of mycorrhizal fungus to their roots. Villagers have successfully reforested about 20,000 acres…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: