Forest restoration: Expanding agriculture
In a recent report published in Science (“The global tree restoration potential”, 5 July 2019, p. 76) Bastin et al. claim that forest restoration is the most effective climate change mitigation mechanism. They determine the available potential forest restoration area by excluding areas with existing trees, urban settlement, and cropland. We find that they overestimate the potential area because they do not account for projected agricultural land expansion or current use of pasture land, and therefore also overestimate the potential of forest restoration for climate change mitigation.