Offset in Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean. Many fjords punctuate its coastline, which is also where most settlements are situated. The island's interior, the Highlands of Iceland, is a cold and uninhabitable combination of sand, mountains, and lava fields. Iceland has three national parks: Vatnajökull National Park, Snæfellsjökull National Park, and Þingvellir National Park.

Overview

Introducing a new afforestation project in Iceland! While Iceland used to have up to 40% forest cover centuries ago, deforestation has reduced this to just 5% today, and since so much time has gone by that's why this unique project is categorized as afforestation as opposed to reforestation. This 170 hectare area will involve planting trees on the lower, south-facing slopes on the farm “Dragon's Nest“ named after its' former owner. The area is degraded former grazing land with low-growing and largely non-continuous vegetation, and a lot of ecological potential to become a forest once again. The main goals of this project are carbon sequestration and soil conservation.

Impact

In time, degraded and eroded land (the majority of the area) will develop more vigorous vegetation, both the trees themselves and the undergrowth. A mixed species forest will provide enriched biodiversity for most species' groups, including considerable birch at the edges, pine in the poorest areas, spruce on the better sites and black cottonwood along streams. There will be open areas for shade-intolerant plants and open-ground birds to remain in the area. The forest will moderate stream fluctuations creating better conditions for freshwater organisms including many insects, small crustaceans and fish. The forest will make its contribution to carbon sequestration, which will be a reversal of the current emissions. The afforestation area is open to people from the local village, Breiðdalsvík. With time, footpaths and other outdoor recreation facilities will be developed. Local people will get jobs in fence maintenance and planting the trees.

Species

This mixed species forest will be home to many species and provide enriched biodiversity for most species groups. Tree species that will be planted in the forest include Downy Birch, Lodgepole Pine, Sitka Spruce, and Black Cottonwood.

Partner

OneTreePlanted is a non-profit organisation based in Vermont with a mission to make it simple for you to plant trees around the world. Started in 2014, they have more than doubled the number of trees planted year over year. Fast-forward to today, they now work with awesome reforestations partners in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa who help them get trees in the ground to restore forests after fires and floods, create jobs, build communities, and protect habitat for biodiversity.

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