forest Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

Reconstruir as florestas do mundo

OXFORD – A humanidade sempre teve uma relação complicada com as florestas. Dependemos delas para regular o clima e a chuva, purificar o nosso ar e a nossa água, manter uma infinidade de espécies de plantas e de animais e sustentar os meios de subsistência de mais de mil milhões de pessoas. Ainda assim, continuamos a destruí-las, ao ponto de só restar metade da cobertura florestal original do mundo.

O preço da desflorestação dificilmente pode ser sobreavaliado. As árvores consomem grandes quantidades de dióxido de carbono enquanto crescem, tornando-as em ferramentas vitais para absorver as emissões de gases com efeito de estufa – provenientes de carros, fábricas, centrais de energia e pecuárias – que resultam em alterações climáticas. Se continuamos a perder cobertura florestal, o objetivo do acordo de Paris sobre o clima de limitar o aquecimento global para menos de dois graus Celsius (acima dos níveis pré-industriais), até 2050, será impossível de alcançar. Na verdade, para cumprir essa meta, precisaremos de recuperar uma quantidade significativa de cobertura florestal que já não existe.

Há duas maneiras de abordar a reflorestação. A primeira é permitir que as terras agrícolas caiam em desuso e, então, esperar que se revertam naturalmente em florestas. Isto não teria grandes custos, mas demoraria décadas. A segunda opção é mais pró-ativa: plantar milhares de milhões de árvores novas.

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