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End of deforestation in view? Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources

ers and moose whose forest habitat has been decimated by human activity.

Skinhead Earth?

Earlier research showed farmers have so successfully learned to extract more crop from a given area that land needed for agriculture is shrinking, even as people become more numerous and eat better. In many countries forests have begun to enlarge, as farmers spare land and foresters also shift from extensive to intensive strategies.

Says Mr. Ausubel: "This great reversal in land use could stop the styling of a Skinhead Earth and begin a great restoration of the landscape by 2050, expanding the global forest by 10 percent about 300 million hectares, the area of India."

"Without depopulation or impoverishment, increasing numbers of countries are experiencing transitions in forest area and density," adds Dr. Kauppi. "While complacency would be misplaced, our insights provide grounds for optimism about the prospects for returning forests."


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Contact: Professor Pekka Kauppi
pekka.kauppi@helsinki.fi
358-919-158-300
University of Helsinki
13-Nov-2006


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