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Brazil Could Save More Species At Half the Cost With New Forest Restoration Plan

December 19, 2018 |

This article was originally published on 

“A new approach to restoring Brazil’s Atlantic Forest could triple biodiversity gains while reducing costs by US$28 billion. The findings, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, will be used by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment and could guide restoration projects around the world.

A team of 25 international researchers, including Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science at Imperial Dr. Morena Mills, developed a customized software to determine the best route for restoration. Using this software, they identified the best way to divide space in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest to maximize biodiversity and climate change mitigation while minimizing costs.

This approach would save approximately 745 animals and plants from extinction. As trees regrow, the forest would also capture twice as much carbon dioxide, taking in 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the next 20 years. This approach would also cut overall restoration costs by 57%.

Bernardo Strassburg, lead author of the study, from the International Institute for Sustainability and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro explains: “These restoration targets, if achieved, will bring multiple benefits for people and nature. We show that science can help guide decisions about where to restore, multiplying benefits and saving billions of dollars in costs.”…”

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