The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative in the US

Despite its abundance of natural resources, the Appalachian region in the east of the United States has historically had a low standard of living. Many people in the area make a living in the coal mining industry. However, this has led to large areas of the landscape being stripped of their trees.

In the middle of the 2000s, the Appalachian Area Reforestation Initiative got to work reversing the damage caused by mining. The United Nations Environment Program estimates that ARRI has overseen the planting of 60 million trees on approximately 87,000 acres of existing mine sites in Appalachia.

This has not only helped recover one of the most biodiverse areas in the United States, but it has also provided viable alternatives to the mining business, most notably in sustainable logging and the tourism sector. When developing and implementing ARRI, the coal industry was included with state governments, academic institutions, private landowners, and more.


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