uruguay forestry growth

Uruguay was the Latin American country showing the greatest net gain in new trees planted over the past decade.

A new report this week in the journal Science summarizes the state of global deforestation over the past twelve years, and Uruguay is one of the few countries where the forest landscape is much more abundant than just a decade ago.

Over a period of four years a University of Maryland-led team of scientists analyzed over 650,000 satellite images to create time-lapse GIFs with different colors connoting tree loss (red) or gain (blue). The research indicates a loss of 2.3 million square kilometers of forest worldwide compared to a gain of 800,000 square kilometers.

The researchers also created a Global Forest Change website powered by Google Maps where you can enter the name of a specific country and see the net gain or loss of trees since 2000. While some South American countries like Paraguay and Bolivia are covered in red, the Uruguay map has large pockets of blue indicating widespread planting of eucalyptus and pine forests over the past twenty years.

Timber plantings have increased dramatically in Uruguay over the past twenty years thanks to the government’s approval of aggressive pro-timber legislation in the late 1990ʹs and prioritization of plantings on forestry soils.

In 2013, Uruguay’s largest newspaper declared the evolution of forestry as the country’s most significant agribusiness transformation since the introduction of the slaughterhouses a full century ago. (Full Story in Spanish)

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