News & Events

March 16, 2023

Recovering forests regain a quarter of deforestation carbon losses

Research demonstrates the importance of conserving recovering forests along with protecting old-growth forest

  • A new study published in Nature and led by Viola Heinrich from the University of Bristol and Exeter reveals that tropical forests recovering from deforestation and degradation only successfully combat a quarter of the current carbon emissions.
  • In the Tropics, forests that are recovering from human disturbances remove 107 million tonnes of above-ground carbon every year.
  • Per hectare, the greatest carbon reductions were found in Borneo compared to the Amazon and Central Africa.
  • The findings demonstrate the important carbon value of conserving recovering forests along with protecting old-growth forests.
  • The study was conducted by researchers working on the ESA-funded RECCAP-2 project uses satellite dat a from ESA’s Climate Change Initiative.
Carbon fluxes in the major continuous tropical forests

Read the full story at


Heinrich, V.H.A., Vancutsem, C., Dalagnol, R. et al. The carbon sink of secondary and degraded humid tropical forests. Nature 615, 436–442 (2023).