The country lost most of its trees long ago. Despite years of replanting, it isn’t making much progress.
The country lost most of its trees more than a thousand years ago, when Viking settlers took their axes to the forests that covered one-quarter of the countryside. Now Icelanders would like to get some of those forests back, to improve and stabilize the country’s harsh soils, help agriculture and fight climate change.
No one expects that one-quarter of Iceland will ever be covered in forests again. But given slow growth rates and the enormity of the task, even more modest gains will take a long time, Mr. Thorvaldsson said.
“The aim now is that in the next 50 years we might go up to 5 percent,” he said. “But at the speed we’re at now, it would take 150 years to do that.”
It certainly sounds like a daunting task but given the severity of the depletion and the break taking beauty of the landscape there’s not you can do put take one step at a time forward in a positive direction.
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