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The Natural Comeback of Tropical Rainforests in the Savanna Region

April 26, 2019 |

This article was originally published on

“Artificial savanna naturally turns into tropical rainforest when annual burning regimes are discontinued. This is the conclusion of a natural experiment carried out by researchers from the RMCA, UGent, the WWF and INERA in the Manzonzi Savanna in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Together with the rainforest, it not only restores carbon storage capacity but also improves biodiversity. A model example for natural reforestation programmes in the region.

Urbanisation, logging and the demand for farming lead to large-scale deforestation in Africa. Artificial savannas are created for cattle breeding and crop cultivation. The regular burning of vegetation in order to make the land workable, or to attract animals to fresh grass is common practice.

The less  there is, the smaller the carbon storage capacity. Tropical rainforests contain half the world’s vegetable carbon. They play an essential role in the regulation of the climate by storing excess CO2 from the atmosphere…”

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