Deforestation rates in the Congo Basin — historically lower than in the Amazon and southeast Asia — are on the rise. It's not just a problem for the 80 million people who rely on the forests for food and livelihoods; research shows the world's second-largest rainforest regulates weather patterns across Africa.
Malawi's growing population depends on forests for wood or charcoal for cooking, but these forests are being cleared for agriculture, which 80 percent of Malawians rely on to support themselves. To combat this potentially disastrous trend, Malawi's government plans to pay its young people to plant trees.
Degraded land is a challenge for many of Africa’s farmers, and plays a role in driving people away from their villages into cities. But a new wave of young entrepreneurs is heading back to the land, bringing with them startups and jobs focused on restoring forests and farmland.
New research explores a vicious cycle: as greenhouse gas emissions warm the planet, soils heat up and the micro-organisms that live in them start to expel heat-trapping carbon dioxide, reinforcing the problem of climate change. Landscape restoration is one way to respond.