November 23, 2010
Reforestation Boosts Forestry Product Imports

About half the reforestry acreage in one country is balanced by increased logging and forest loss in other countries.

In five of the six countries (with the exception of India), the return of native forests was accompanied by a reduction in timber harvests and new farmland, thus creating a demand for imported wood and agricultural products.

"For every 100 acres of reforestation in these five countries, they imported the equivalent of 74 acres of forest products," said Meyfroidt, a postdoctoral researcher at Louvain and lead author of the study. "Taking into account their exports of agricultural products, the net balance amounted to 22 acres of land used in other countries."

During the past five years, the net land-use displacement increased to 52 acres of imported agricultural or forestry products for every 100 acres reforested, he added. That is, for every acre of reforested land, a half-acre was used elsewhere, including countries like Brazil and Indonesia, which together accounted for 61 percent of the all deforestation in the humid tropics between 2000 and 2005.

So if some government dictates reforesting of former forests and jungles more trees will get cut down in Brazil and Indonesia. We need cheap substitutes for wood. Unfortunately economic growth will increase buying power for wood products. So I expect even more deforestation as the world economy grows.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 November 23 10:38 PM  Trends Bio Resource Usage

Michael L said at November 24, 2010 10:20 AM:

trees get cut in Brazil anyway when poor people clear the land for agriculture. Except usually the clearing is done via burning instead of logging.

Bruce said at November 24, 2010 10:32 AM:

"We need cheap substitutes for wood."

I nominate wood. It can be cheap and its very wood-like. And the nice thing about trees, is that if the wood is used for building materials the CO2 is fixed in place for up to 100 years (or more). Alternatively if the trees die and rot, the CO2 gets released into the atmosphere.

Phillep Harding said at November 24, 2010 11:34 AM:

Paragraph 2, more land is planted in trees than is cut.

Paragraph 3, more land is planted in trees than is cut.

Side note, South East Alaska, the forests self seed. None of the clear cut land is still bare (except the small patches around cabins or lodges, and they have to fight the trees that self seed).

What's the issue again?

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