Cuba Does Its Part in Billion Tree Campaign

With a push from the United Nations "Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign", designed to encourage tree planting around the world, Cuba has committed to plant some 135 million trees this year.

"Forests are natural and economically important ‘sinks’, sequestrating carbon from the atmosphere and locking it away in trunks and branches. Globally, forest cover is at least one-third less than what it once was. It is time to reverse the trends, it is time to act," says Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.

Experts say (Spanish link) that the primary threat to Cuba's forests are fires, which in the last five years have caused 100 million pesos worth of damage over an area of 57,000 hectares.Before the Cuban revolution in 1959, 13.4% of the national territory was covered by trees. The government's intensive reforestation program has increased the national forest cover to nearly 25% at a rate of 0.6% per year.

According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Cuba, Uruguay, Chile and Costa Rica are the only Latin American countries that have implemented aggressive reforestation efforts.:: Via Adelante

Tags: Cuba | Forestry

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