In trying to protect rainforests, we also need to look at how damaged forests can be brought back to health. While it is impossible to replant a rainforest, some rainforests can recover after they have been cut down -- especially if natural forests remain nearby or they have some help through the planting of trees. In some cases it is also possible to use deforested lands for improved forms of agriculture to provide food for people living nearby. When these people have enough food, they will not need to cut down more forest to plant crops.
One promising area of research looks at ancient societies that lived in the Amazon rainforest before the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. Apparently these populations were able to enrich the rainforest soil, which is usually quite poor, using charcoal and animal bones. By improving soil quality, large areas of the Amazon that have already been deforested could be used to support agriculture. This could reduce pressure on rainforest areas for agricultural land. Further, the “terra preta” soil as it’s called, could help fight climate change since it absorbs carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas.
Annoyed by these ads? Use the advertising-free version of Mongabay-Kids.
Previous | Next
- What are some ways to help restore rainforests back to health?
- What's terra preta?
- Restoring rainforests From our main rainforests web site
- Ancient Amazonian technology could save the world From Mongabay News
- Pre-Columbian Amazon supported millions of people From Mongabay News
- May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects? Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite mongabay as the source.
- Where can I learn more about rainforests? Check the main rainforest site.
- Is this web site credible? Mongabay is the world's most popular source for information on tropical forests. The site is highly acclaimed by a number of the world's leading tropical scientists. See more answers at our frequently asked questions page.
- Can I hide ads? Yes, we have an advertising-free version of Mongabay-Kids.