Energy & Environment

Cuba’s Reforestation Program

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In the news this week are reports of the success of Cuba’s reforestation program.  According to the National Office of Statistics and Information’s report, “Environmental Outlook: Cuba 2015,”  Cuba’s total landmass covered by forest accounts for 30.6% of landmass.  This figure represents an increase from 2010 numbers.

Forests in Cuba now make up 30.6% of the country’s land area, thanks to a reforestation initiative carried out by the socialist government, a new report has found.

Titled Environmental Outlook: Cuba 2015, the National Office of Statistics and Information report details recent improvements in Cuba’s forest coverage, up from 27.6% in 2010.

Cuba started the reforestation program in 1998. It is part of a select group of developing countries that have been able to maintain sustained forest growth.

A report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2011 said that Cuba has the highest proportion of its forest designated for protective functions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Before Spanish colonization, Cuba was estimated to have forest coverage of 90%. At the time of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, only 14% of Cuba was thought to be covered in forest. Both the foreign-owned timber and sugarcane industries played significant roles in destroying much of Cuba’s lush forest areas.

Increased forest coverage has been proven to help fight against pollution, improve air quality and health for humans and animals. Deforestation is a major contributor to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Source:  TeleSUR English

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