Protect existing forests and allow degraded forests to recover and mature to their full potential as a critical solution for carbon sequestration and biodiversity loss.
Proforestation is the practice of protecting existing intact forests or allowing forests to recover naturally if they have been degraded. Older and larger trees have high rates of carbon sequestration, while supporting native biodiversity, water and air quality, and flood and erosion control. Logging, mining, disease, and wildfires have led to the loss of over a third of Earth’s original forests, often resulting in land degradation. Preserving existing forests and letting them grow to their full ecological potential would sequester significantly more carbon dioxide than newly planted trees. Proforestation is immediate, effective, low cost, and can be utilized in all types of forests. Protection of forests can take many forms, including federal legislation, administrative action, conservation easements, deforestation-free supply chains, and Indigenous land rights.