Afforestation, reforestation and new challenges from COVID-19: Thirty-three recommendations to support civil society organizations (CSOs)

J Environ Manage. 2021 Jun 1;287:112277. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112277. Epub 2021 Mar 9.


Afforestation/reforestation (A/R) programs spearheaded by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play a significant role in reaching global climate policy targets and helping low-income nations meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, these organizations face unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, these challenges affect their ability to address issues associated with deforestation and forest degradation in a timely manner. We discuss the influence COVID-19 can have on previous, present and future A/R initiatives, in particular, the ones led by International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs). We provide thirty-three recommendations for exploring underlying deforestation patterns and optimizing forest policy reforms to support forest cover expansion during the pandemic. The recommendations are classified into four groups - i) curbing deforestation and improving A/R, ii) protecting the environment and mitigating climate change, iii) enhancing socio-economic conditions, and iv) amending policy and law enforcement practices.

Keywords: Deforestation and forest degradation; Impacts of COVID-19 on forests; International non-governmental organizations (INGOs); Planting trees with drones; Real-time forest monitoring and management; Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Forests
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2