Brighter outlook for the rainforest?

Photo: Juan Zamora, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Brighter outlook for the rainforest?

Focali member Martin Persson, in the studio when the Swedish Radio show Klotet reports on positive development of rain forest restoration in Costa Rica. Research shows that new trees are establishing in logged areas, faster than expected and spontaneously, without planting.

Swedish Radio's Latin America Correspondent Lotten Collin has visited the research station La Selva in Costa Rica, and had a chance to follow researchers that are describing how the forest is recreated. Focali member Martin Persson is in the studio, sharing his expertise on tropical deforestation and land-use.

Costa Rica, a pioneer when it comes to preserving rain forest, has managed to reverse negative trends and decrease deforestation. Today about 50 percent of the country is covered in forest. Experiments at La Selva research station are showing that the forest is recovering faster than expected, but researchers estimate that we need another couple of hundred years before the biodiversity is restored to levels found in pristine forest. At the research station, there are also ongoing agroforesty experiments where e.g. cassava and banana are being planted among the trees.

Martin Persson highlights that the global rate of rain forest deforestation is about the same as ten years ago, but that it looks very different between areas. In some countries, like Costa Rica, the development is very positive. Global trends in deforestation show a shift from smallholder farmers to large commercial interests. Martin finds it positive that it is possible to halt deforestation and restore the forest. But he argues that stricter legislations are needed in a continued fight against deforestation.

Hear the radio show Klotet here (in Swedish)

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