geoengineering explained: the benefits and challenges of afforestation

Afforestation is the process of planting trees, or sowing seeds, in a barren land devoid of any trees to create a forest. The term should not be confused with reforestation, which is the process of specifically planting native trees into a forest that has decreasing numbers of trees. The increased number of trees helps to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. Accordingly, this form of geoengineering is considered carbon dioxide removal (CDR).



  • Improves ground water quality
  • Increases the supply of timber and charcoal
  • Provides employment
  • Creates new wildlife habitats
  • Visually attractive
  • Stabilizes river banks and prevents flooding
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Real opportunity costs – the land used for afforestation will not be available for other uses, such as housing and food production
  • Must be applied on a global scale to have a significant impact

see also:

Question: What is geoengineering?

Albedo Enhancement

Space Reflectors
Stratospheric Aerosols

Ambient Air Capture
Bioenergy Capture and Sequestration
Ocean Fertilization
Enhanced Weathering
Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement


Gupta, A. (2010, October 18). Afforestation: Meaning, Importance and Current Efforts. Retrieved from Bright Hub:
Economist. (2012, July 19). Advantages and Disadvantages of Afforestation. Retrieved from Infobarrel: