There is a pattern of deceptive practices wherein tree planting programs are presented to the public as some kind of unquestionable environmental good. Here is another example: propublica.org/article/the-ce…
As the reporting shows, the company makes expansive claims about its tree planting that turn out on closer examination to be inaccurate. You can't actually find out what trees are planted where. Its hard to believe that you can grow trees well for only $0.10 per tree.
In response to my quote that points to potential challenges for tree planting, the company falls back on "It’s scientifically proven that trees take carbon out of the atmosphere, and the more trees we plant today, the more sustainable our planet will be for decades to come"
Maybe like me you are confused by how many principles there are for restoration. In this spreadsheet I identify 64 principles for restoration in 6 papers published in the last 2 years. No wonder I was confused! docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d…
I spent the weekend troubled by this editorial in Science. I agree with some of the main messages: Restoration has great potential to improve human well-being while caring for the planet. BUT I'm troubled by what isn't said. science.org/doi/full/10.11…
Restoration often involves difficult tradeoffs. The editorial makes it seem like its just win-win, but often land that is restored used to be agricultural land, or is used in some other way by people, or there are tradeoffs between ecological goals.
The editorial says that we can reconcile large-scale restoration of natural systems and food production, but it isn't clear to me how this statement is grounded in the current scientific literature.
India has attempted large scale forest restoration for decades. We have just published one of the first systematic evaluations of these efforts. We find that decades of tree planting have had almost no impact on forest canopy cover or rural livelihoods. A Thread.
These results are pretty disappointing: These plantations failed to achieve their goals. This failure also raises questions about the aims of global restoration and tree planting initiatives: Can they deliver on their ambitions plans?
The full paper is here. nature.com/articles/s4189… and I will post a link to the author's version (ungated) at my university repository once it is available (in a few hours)
2 pieces of advice for writing academic cover letters: (1) your cover letter (and any accompanying statements) is an essay about your accomplishments & agenda. It should have a clear thesis statement & each paragraph should contain a specific piece of supporting information
We all tend to write these things chronologically, or to list off things we've done, but letters that shine instead describe a research (or teaching, or diversity) agenda that is specific, focused, and can be broken down into subcomponents that provide evidence.
(2) show don't tell. I actually got this advice from my high school guidance counselor. If you say "I encourage active learning in my classes" describe specifically how you do this in a class you teach (or plan to teach) using a specific example.
@reddmonitor has a great post summarizing a number of recent articles about "plant for the planet," which raise a host of interesting questions about the potential for tree planting & forest restoration to serve lofty goals. redd-monitor.org/2021/01/11/pla…
I got involved in this because I've done fieldwork in the area where Plant for the Planet's Mexican forests are. I was last there in 2015, so around the same time Plant for the Planet got started there. I can't report direct observations.
When the lofty goals of forest landscape restoration are put into practice, the rhetoric is replaced by a focus on planting trees, often in places where they don't belong. link.springer.com/article/10.100…
I've had a bunch of arguments with FLR advocates about this. Mostly, they boil down to a believe on the part of FLR advocates that their complex science-based prescriptions will be translated into careful on-the-ground action.
My own observations from S. Asia have always led me to be skeptical of this. Here are a set of similar cases from Africa.
These days everyone seems to thinks that "planting trees" is an important solution to the climate crisis. They're mostly wrong, and in this paper we explain why. Instead of planting trees, we need to talk about people managing landscapes. 1/x academic.oup.com/bioscience/adv…
We highlight 10 pitfalls of tree planting, and discuss how a focus on people who manage landscapes will work. 2/x
The first pitfall is that it is ecosystems, not tree planting campaigns, that capture and store carbon. Tree planting campaigns have high failure rates, and many ecosystems with sparse tree cover store large amounts of carbon below the ground - e.g. see onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.11… 3