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Cómo reforestar el mundo

OXFORD – La humanidad siempre ha tenido una relación compleja con los bosques. Estos tienen diversas funciones esenciales: regulan el clima y las lluvias, depuran el aire y el agua, mantienen infinidad de especies vegetales y animales, y proveen de medios de vida a más de mil millones de personas. Aun así, seguimos destruyéndolos, tanto que sólo subsiste la mitad de la cubierta forestal original del mundo.

El precio de la deforestación es altísimo. Los árboles al crecer consumen grandes cantidades de dióxido de carbono, lo que los hace herramientas esenciales para la absorción de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero (procedentes de autos, fábricas, centrales de energía y ganado) que dan lugar al cambio climático. Si seguimos perdiendo cubierta forestal, será imposible cumplir el objetivo del acuerdo climático de París de limitar el calentamiento global a menos de dos grados Celsius (por encima de los niveles preindustriales) antes de 2050. Y lo cierto es que para cumplir el objetivo, necesitamos recuperar una cantidad importante de la cubierta ya perdida.

Hay dos formas de reforestar. La primera es abandonar a la naturaleza tierras que hoy se usan para la agricultura y esperar que aquella las reconvierta en bosque. Esto no costaría mucho, pero llevaría décadas. La segunda opción es más proactiva: plantar árboles nuevos en abundancia.

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