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Scientists address myths over large-scale tree planting

Scientists have proposed 10 golden rules for tree-planting, which they say must be a top priority for all nations this decade.

Tree planting is a brilliant solution to tackle climate change and protect biodiversity, but the wrong tree in the wrong place can do more harm than good, say experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

All too often natural forests teeming with plants, animals and fungi are replaced by commercial plantations with row upon row of timber trees, which will be harvested after a few decades, she told BBC News.

"What we're trying to do is to encourage people, wherever possible, to try and recreate forests which are similar to the natural forests and which provide multiple benefits to people, the environment and to nature as well as capturing carbon."

The 10 golden rules are:

Protect existing forests first

Put local people at the heart of tree-planting projects

Maximise biodiversity recovery to meet multiple goals

Select the right area for reforestation

Use natural forest regrowth wherever possible

Select the right tree species that can maximise biodiversity

Make sure the trees are resilient to adapt to a changing climate

Plan ahead

Learn by doing

Make it pay


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