Two nations recently announced ambitious projects to plant millions of trees in an effort to create new forests. China’s State Forestry Administration plans to plant 6.6 hectares of new forests in 2018, while the United Kingdom announced plans to repopulate one of the least wooded areas of country by way of 50 million new trees.
China’s goal is to increase the total area of forests to 23 percent of its total land by 2020, and to 26 percent by 2035. Currently, 21.7 percent of the land is made up of forests. The initiative is part of the country’s ongoing war on pollution and its efforts to become a world leader in environmental protection, according to The Telegraph, since President Trump pulled the U.S. from the Paris climate accord last year.
The new forests will be planted in the northeast province of Hebei, Qinghai province in the Tibetan Plateau, and in the Hunshandake Desert in Inner Mongolia. Over the past five years, China has spent over 538 billion yuan, or approximately $83 billion, planting forests.
In Northern England, the government hopes to plant a new forest stretching from Liverpool to the east coast city of Hull, CityLab reports, a band that comprises 62,000 acres across 120 miles. Fifty million trees will be used to not only repopulate the area but also to create new bands of landscaped greenery, offering a nature retreat to many city dwellers nearby.
Fortunately, the country has a precedent: 28 years ago, the National Forest, a 200-mile-long swath, was planted in the English Midlands, and it’s now just coming into maturity, providing a first-hand look at how such a project can revitalize a landscape. But unlike China, only 13 percent of its land is covered in woodlands, making it one of Europe’s least-forested nations. To learn more, head over to CityLab.