Afforestation is the process of establishing a forest on land that is not a forest, or has not been a forest for a long time by planting trees or their seeds. The term may also be applied to the legal conversion of land into the status of royal forest.

The term reforestation generally refers to the reestablishment of the forest after its removal,or planting more trees for example from a timber harvest. Since the industrial revolution many countries have experienced centuries of deforestation, and some governments and non-governmental organisations directly engage in programs of "afforestation" to restore forests and assist in preservation of biodiversity.

The United States and northwestern Europe have more forest cover than at the beginning of the twentieth century. [G.W. Heil, 2007] However, significant deforestation in South and Central America and in South Asia still continues.

Afforestation in areas of degraded soil

In various arid, tropical, or sensitive areas, forests cannot re-establish themselves without assistance due to a variety of environmental factors. One of these factors is that, once forest cover is destroyed in arid zones, the land quickly dries out and becomes inhospitable to new tree growth. Other critical factors include overgrazing by livestock, especially animals such as goats, and over-harvesting of forest resources. Together these may lead to desertification and the loss of topsoil; without soil, forests cannot grow until the very long process of soil creation has been completed - if erosion allows this. In some tropical areas, the removal of forest cover may result in a duricrust or duripan that effectively seal off the soil to water penetration and root growth. In many areas, reforestation is impossible above all because the land is in use by people. In these areas, reforestation requires the planting of tree seedlings, treeplanting. In other areas, mechanical breaking up of duripans or duricrusts is necessary, careful and continued watering may be essential, and special protection, such as fencing, may be required.

World regions


Because of the extensive Amazon deforestation during the last several decades and ongoing,E.O. Wilson, 2002] the small efforts of afforestation are insignificant on a national scale of the Amazon Rainforest. [A.Cattaneo, 2002]


China has deforested the majority of its historical wooded areas. Although it has set official goals for re-forestation, these goals were set for a 80 year time horizon and are not significantly met by 2008. China has reached the point where timber yields have declined far below historic levels, due to overharvesting of trees beyond sustainable yield. [G.A.McBeath, 2006] At present however, China is trying to erase its sins of the past by projects as the Green Wall of China, which aims to replant a great deal of forests and halt the expansion of the Gobi desert.


The European Union has paid farmers for afforestation since 1990, offering grants to turn farmland back into forest and payments for the management of forest. Between 1993 and 1997, EU afforestation policies made possible the re-forestation of over 5,000 square kilometres of land. A second program, running between 2000 and 2006, afforested in excess of 1000 square kilometres of land (precise statistics not yet available). A third such program began in 2007.


Iran is considered a low forest cover region of the world with present cover approximating seven percent of the land area. This is a value reduced by an estimated six million hectares of virgin forest, which species include oak, almond and pistacio.J.A.Stanturf, 2004] Due to the challenges of soil substrates that exist in Iran, it is difficult to achieve afforestation on a large scale compared to other temperate areas endowed with more fertile and less rocky and arid soil conditions.J.A.Stanturf, 2004] Consequently, most of the afforestation is conducted with non-native species,J.A.Stanturf, 2004] which practise is a form of habitat destruction for native flora and fauna, resulting in accelerating loss of biodiversity.E.O. Wilson, 2002]

ee also

* Forestry
* Deforestation
* Reforestation

Line notes


* Andrea Cattaneo (2002) "Balancing Agricultural Development and Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon", Int Food Policy Res Inst IFPRI, 146 pages ISBN:0896291308
* Gerrit W. Heil, Bart Muys and Karin Hansen (2007) "Environmental Effects of Afforestation in North-Western Europe", Springer, 320 pages ISBN:1402045670
* Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng (2006) "Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan", Edward Elgar Publishing, 242 pages ISBN:1843768100
* John A. Stanturf and Palle Madsen (2004) "Restoration of Boreal and Temperate Forests", CRC Press, 569 pages ISBN:1566706351
* E. O. Wilson (2002) "The Future of Life", Vintage ISBN 0-679-76811-4

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • afforestation — ● afforestation nom féminin Plantation d arbres sur un terrain nu. ⇒AFFORESTATION, subst. fém. SYLVIC., rare. ,,Installation de la forêt par semis ou plantation (...) (PLAIS. CAILL. 1958). Synon. de boisement et de reboisement, plus usités : • 1 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Afforestation — Af*for es*ta tion, n. The act of converting into forest or woodland. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Afforestation — L afforestation ou boisement est une plantation d arbres ayant pour but d établir un état boisé sur une surface longtemps restée dépourvue d arbre, ou n ayant éventuellement jamais (aux échelles humaines de temps) appartenu à l aire forestière[1] …   Wikipédia en Français

  • afforestation — [[t]æfɒ̱rɪste͟ɪʃ(ə)n, AM fɔ͟ːr [/t]] N UNCOUNT Afforestation is the process of planting large numbers of trees on land which has few or no trees on it. Since the Sixties, afforestation has changed the Welsh countryside …   English dictionary

  • afforestation — noun Etymology: Medieval Latin afforestation , afforestatio, from afforestare to put under forest laws, from Latin ad + Medieval Latin foresta, forestis forest Date: 1649 the act or process of establishing a forest especially on land not… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • afforestation — miško želdinimas statusas Aprobuotas sritis miškų ūkis apibrėžtis Miško atkūrimas arba įveisimas sėjant miško medžių ir krūmų sėklas arba sodinant iš jų išaugintus sodmenis. atitikmenys: angl. afforestation; artificial forest regeneration rus.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • afforestation — miško veisimas statusas Aprobuotas sritis miškų ūkis apibrėžtis Miško želdinimas ir (arba) žėlimas sklypuose, kuriuose prieš tai miškas neaugo. atitikmenys: angl. afforestation rus. лесоразведение šaltinis Lietuvos Respublikos aplinkos ministro… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • afforestation — miško veisimas statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Miško želdinimas sklypuose, kuriuose prieš tai miškas neaugo. atitikmenys: angl. afforestation vok. Aufforstung, f; Bewaldung, f rus. облесение, n …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • afforestation — afforest ► VERB ▪ convert (land) into forest. DERIVATIVES afforestation noun …   English terms dictionary

  • afforestation — See afforest. * * * …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”