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What is the difference between reforesting and restoring forests ?

Updated: May 17

For those who have already discovered Foliumize, its mission and its partners, you may have noticed that we often use the term forest restoration and not reforestation. Why ?


To reforest, you have to ... plant trees!

To restore forests, you have to ... plant trees!


Despite appearances, these are indeed two different approaches. In summary, reforestation is one aspect of forest restoration, but the reverse is not true.


Let me explain. Planting a tree, whatever its specie and wherever it is, is called reforestation. So in reforestation it is notably possible to:

  • plant in monoculture, that is to say to plant only one specie on immense surfaces;

  • plant trees in collaboration with industrial and intensive forestry actors (that is, these actors will sooner or later fell down the tree in question to sell the wood);

  • use pesticides;

  • plant trees intended to produce fruit (once again intensively, often in monoculture and with the probable use of pesticides);

  • ...

But to perform forest restoration, you must:

- either preserve a forest (the most natural and the least touched by human activity as possible):

  • for example by buying land to avoid felling of trees by industrial forestry companies;

  • or by transforming wooded areas into protected natural parks, with the help of countries, municipalities or communities.

- either by planting a tree respecting many qualitative criteria :

  • making sure to put in the ground an indigenous species, that is to say a local species, which will contribute to the global ecosystem by providing food and habitats for the flora, by not proliferating out of all control, by not suffocating other species, by not using excessively the resources present in the soil (nutrients but also water);

  • planting a wide variety of native species on a given surface, in order to reproduce as closely as possible the real conditions of a natural forest;

  • limiting the use of heavy machinery which compacts the soil and prevents good water infiltration;

  • prohibiting the use of pesticides;

  • Not planting these trees with the aim of cutting them down and making a financial profit.

Foliumize works exclusively with partners adopting a forest restoration approach.

Therefore, we are committed to:

  • also restore soils and ecosystems;

  • do not ask you to contribute financially to plant a tree that would have been it anyway (by actors of industrial and intensive forestry, of which it is all the same the job);

  • do not sell you just any tree under the pretext that "if it's green, it's good for the planet".

Beyond ecological aspects, Foliumize is also committed to social impact of its projects. Indeed, Foliumize partners train and hire local communities to ensure continuity of efforts and sustainable conservation of restored areas !


If you want to know more about ours selection criteria when selecting partners.

Discover forest restoration projects.

Simply discovering who we are.