In contrast to the perception of China and India’s willingness to overexploit land, water and resources for economic gain, the countries are responsible for the largest greening of the planet in the past two decades. The two most populous countries have implemented ambitious tree planting programs and scaled up their implementation and technology around agriculture.
Interesting. This is surprising to me. Especially as the increase in vegetation in China and India seems to outweigh the deforestation that happens in South America. For more details see the full study.
China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6% of global vegetated area. The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%), but in India is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%). China is engineering ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change.
While this is definitely good news, the picture is much more complicated. If you like, have a look at my more in-depth analysis of the good and bad effects of planting trees on climate change.