Reforestation: Changing methods to scale up

Image source: Quang Nguyen Vinh
June 23, 2023

On June 23, 2023, an article titled "To meet the colossal challenges of reforestation, the world can no longer rely on traditional methods" was published in the French newspaper Le Monde. It was signed by Prof. Robin Duponnois, research director at the IRD since 2002 and internationally recognized specialist in soil microbiology.

For the past two years, MORFO has been closely working with Prof. Duponnois and his team at the IRD to improve the quality of our seedpods. This collaboration aims to increase the effectiveness of reforestation efforts by optimizing the composition and properties of these pods.

Following the results of our first research collaboration, we signed a second research collaboration in January 2023. This program will last 24 months and will include a new collaboration with Robin and the IRD, as well as with the LASEM laboratory of the University of Sao Carlos in Brazil, a reference in forest restoration in Brazil. By bringing multidisciplinary teams from different regions together, this collaboration aims to foster knowledge exchange, harness diverse perspectives and advance reforestation science studies.

To find out more about our collaborations, follow this link: R&D: WHY AND HOW WE WORK WITH SPECIALIZED LABORATORIES.

Reforestation is a major global challenge faced with climate change and declining biodiversity. The current replanting rate falls extremely short of the United Nations' target of restoring 80 million hectares of forest per year. Traditional methods of raising seedlings in nurseries and transplanting them have proved laborious and ineffective in the long term, often leading to ecological disasters when exotic species are introduced. However, by taking into account factors such as the biochemistry that occurs between trees, neighboring plants, the soil through the mycorrhiza system, and by using indigenous knowledge, science and technology, a new approach to reforestation can be developed. This includes maximizing the potential of ecological engineering and using innovative methods such as drone technology for large-scale reforestation efforts.

To respond to the urgency of reforestation, it is crucial to adopt an agroecological approach that takes into account the complex interactions between plants, microorganisms and soil. By recognizing the importance of diverse plant cover and native species, we can restore ecological balance and soil fertility. Innovative technology such as drones can help analyze and reforest difficult terrain, speeding up the planting process and enabling effective monitoring. To achieve ambitious reforestation targets and combat climate change, it is essential that public and private players embrace these new opportunities and work together towards a sustainable future.

Click here to read the full article.

Chief Writer and Content Manager
Lorie Louque
- Paris, France
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