Sustainable land management technologies: afforestation/reforestation
Sustainable Land Management contribution to successful land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation: A report of the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI)
Afforestation is the planting of trees or forest cover on land which historically did not contain forests, and reforestation is the planting of trees or forest cover on land which previously contained forest that was converted to another land use (WOCAT glossary). The technology is applied to forest/woodland, or to other land use types, where it involves reclaiming or reserving an area of land to restore or convert to forest land.
According to the report on sustainable land management (SLM) by the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI), afforestation/reforestation is an effective technology to reverse land degradation and rehabilitate degraded land, and is an effective climate change mitigation strategy. Changes in land use through afforestation could lead to a gradual accumulation of soil organic Carbon (SOC), although this depends on the previous land use type and the species and planting techniques. High SOC accumulation is most likely when converting from cropland or when restoring severely degraded land.
Other potential benefits from afforestation/reforestation include an increase in above- and below-ground biomass accumulation and biodiversity (especially when mixed tree species are used), soil erosion control, and improved ecosystem functions and services, such as soil and water conservation, and often aesthetic and cultural services.
Examples of SLM best practices in afforestation/reforestation