Restoring forests as a means to many ends

Restoring forests as a means to many ends


The earth is nearly reaching environmental thresholds which can result in devastating effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. Failure to take action can lead to disruptions of ecosystems, economies, and the society. Protecting and restoring native ecosystems is needed, however, changes in forest cover have not been well understood. Also, the knowledge of where and how to focus such restoration efforts is still limited.


According to the authors, there is an urgency to restore tree cover because of the ongoing shifting responses of forests due to climate change. However, it is important to know how and where to increase tree cover. Increasing tree cover may bring negative impacts to some areas such as increased fire risk. Social and environmental factors should be considered prior to engaging in a reforestation program. The authors also emphasize the need for practical guidelines and tools, institutional alignment, accountability mechanisms, and use of cost- effective ways, such as spatial information when carrying out reforestation programs.


Chazdon R, Brancalion P. Restoring forests as a means to many ends. Science. 2019;365:24–25. doi:10.1126/science.aax9539.


  • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.
  • Department of Forest Science, Universidade de São Paulo, Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil