Researchers say the world’s largest reforestation project – the 2011 Bonn Challenge – has beaten its 2020 target.

Launched nearly a decade ago by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Germany, the challenge aimed to have 371 million acres of degraded forest under restoration by the end of 2020. According to a recent IUCN report, report, 61 nations plus states in Brazil, Mexico and Pakistan and some environmental groups have committed to restoring roughly 519 acres. Experts say a ley element of the Bonn Challenge’s success is that the drive was about more than planting trees: countries have used their pledges to address national priorities such as food security and job creation. On a national level, reforestation campaigns can be effective economic stimulus measures. Preliminary analysis suggests that every dollar invested in restoring forests generates $9 of economic benefits.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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