Restoring hundreds of millions of hectares of degraded forestlands will require billions of tree seeds and seedlings.
Bioversity International invites restoration practitioners to take a survey to help identify current problems, good practices and recommendations for improving tree seed and seedling supply for forest and landscape restoration.
One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the United Nations Summit on September, 25, 2015 aims to reverse land degradation which is estimated to directly affect 1.6 billion people and 74 per cent of those living in poverty worldwide.
Goal 15 affirms the earlier commitments to restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forest lands by 2020 and at least another 200 million hectares by 2030. In response, countries across the world are setting their own targets for forest and landscape restoration which currently amount to at least 60 million ha.
While the Goals and commitments are laudable, they are a long way from implementation.
Restoring just a hectare of degraded or deforested land back to a functional ecosystem that provides goods and services for people living around it may easily require a thousand tree seedlings.
Consequently, seedlings are needed in billions in the next 5-15 years if the global and national restoration commitments are to be met.
Are the current tree seed and seedling supply systems capable of producing and distributing such amounts of propagation material in the coming years?
[Photo credit: Bioversity International]