European Forest Is Growing
European forests have grown over the past two decades and are taking in more carbon dioxide, according to a report on Europe’s forests. This is great news in the battle to reverse global warming and create more habitat for the continent’s animals, birds and plant life. This increased forest land gives people more land for recreation, such as hiking, touring and bird watching. It also increases harvestable timber for building homes and making wood products such as furniture.
1 Million Hectares In The Past 20 Years
The report released in Oslo said the continent had gained nearly an additional 1 million hectares of forests in the past 20 years. Across the continent, which includes Russian land, there are now 1.02 billion hectares of forest land. This is about one-quarter of all woodlands around the world. The report, titled the “State of Europe’s Forests,” was published to coincide with a conference of ministers who gathered to discuss protection of Europe’s forests. In volume, Europe’s forests have increased by 8.6 billion cubic meters, which is equivalent to 303 billion cubic feet. This is equal to an area the size of France, Poland and Germany combined.
879 Million Tons
Europe’s forests face several challenges, the report said. Air pollution affects the forest floor in many regions. In addition, trees are under attack by insects and disease. Natural disasters such as fires and storms also affect the forests. This conference, called Forest Europe, is mandated with finding solutions to forest problems, encouraging protection of the forests and devising systems for their sustainable development. The ministers’ mission is to create legally binding agreements to carry out that agenda. Meanwhile, forestry conservation efforts in the Bialowieza Forest are paying off as the wisent herd is growing and is now numbered at 800 individual animals. The wisent is a European bison, similar in appearance to the American buffalo. It’s the largest European land animal, measuring seven to 10-feet long and weighing from 600 to 2,000 pounds.
is a primeval forest land that once nearly covered the whole of Europe. This forest runs between Belarus and Poland. The forest covers about 100 square miles, not including the buffer area and a transition zone. Due to wars, over hunting and political upheaval, the wisent were nearly extinguished. Only a few dozen of the animals existed after the last war. Thanks to conservation efforts in the Bialowieza Forest area, the animals are thriving and were recently removed from the endangered list. The forests of Europe are starting to thrive, encouraging the growth of wildlife on the continent.
Austin, Texas is where Peter Wendt calls home. He has been researching and writing for several years in the Lone Star state. If you would like to find out more about this topic, Peter encourages his readers to check here.