Iceland

Iceland. Credit: Fei Li

Downy birch (Betula pubescens), which is a native species this project is hoping to help propagate.

Downy birch (Betula pubescens), which is a native species this project is hoping to help propagate. Credit: Dan Aamlid, Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Bugwood.org

Location:
Fjarðabyggð, Iceland

Key Activities:

  • Planting 16,000 trees across 430 acres
  • Restoring former farmlands to forestland

Project Description:
Partnering with nonprofit Skógræktarfélag Reydarfjardar, Alcoa Foundation and American Forests are planting 16,000 trees across 430 acres of former farmland in the municipality of Fjarðabyggð , Iceland, to reclaim an area that was once forested.

Why This Project:
Up to 30 percent of Iceland used to be covered with woodland. Today, barely one percent of the country is forested. This project is converting 430 acres of farmland in Fjarðabyggð back to forestland. By planting feltleaf willow, the project is establishing a safe, sturdy environment for the country’s native birch to return.

Why Fjarðabyggð:
Composed of six villages, the municipality of Fjarðabyggð is home to approximately 4,600 people, making it the 10th most populous in Iceland. Overgrazing has left much of the municipality void of its native forests, which has decreased the area’s biodiversity. However, having witnessed a return of wildlife populations, especially birds, in the village of Reydarfjördur, as a result of tree planting and restoration since 1998, Skógræktarfélag Reydarfjardar anticipates that this project’s trees will usher the return of more wildlife to the region.

Interested in other forest reforestation projects in which we’ve been involved? Check out our Global ReLeaf page.