Iceland 2023


The Potsdam-based association Woods Up e.V. has completed its first reforestation project this year in Hafnarsandur, Iceland. Together, 10 volunteers planted 35,000 trees, bringing the total number of trees planted since 2020 to more than 100,000. The conditions were harsh and characterized by heavy rain, gale-force winds and cool temperatures. Nevertheless, a total of 35,000 trees were planted within eight days. The association has been involved in Iceland since 2020 and has now been able to plant over 100,000 poplars, willows, birches, rowan trees, Sitka spruces and coastal pines over an area of around 100 hectares thanks to donations. The planted areas are previously unused wasteland, which is why it is not simply a matter of converting existing forests, but of genuinely creating additional forest areas. The association is also active in Iceland, where it is possible to recultivate large areas with a very small budget and without bureaucratic hurdles. The fact that no fencing and no irrigation is required due to the regular rainfall is particularly advantageous. In addition, the land in Iceland does not have to be purchased, but remains in public ownership, which ensures that the social bond is maintained in the long term. Icelandic society has a strong interest in supporting reforestation in order to achieve climate protection goals, stop soil erosion and increase biodiversity. The association can also build on the expertise of Icelandic forestry scientists, who have been researching which tree species thrive on the island for decades. Sitka spruce, for example, has proven its worth and now reaches heights of up to 30 meters there. In Germany, on the other hand, experiments are still being carried out to find out which tree species could survive in the future, and there are also enormous hurdles and challenges in domestic reforestation projects. In addition to the realization of a tiny forest in the Potsdam city area, WoodsUp is planning another project in Iceland for the autumn, which could plant an additional 15,000 trees. The association hopes that the €7,500 required for this will come from donations. The planting team has also been following the current discussion about the demolition of the Staudenhof from afar and has noted with annoyance that the city of Potsdam is sticking to its brutal and climate-damaging building policy. Historicizing backdrops seem to be more important than the declared climate emergency.


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