The landscape of Iceland has changed a lot in a thousand years. When the Vikings first arrived in the ninth century, the land was covered in 25 to 40 percent forest. Within a few centuries, almost all of the island’s trees were slashed and burned to make room for farming. This rapid deforestation has resulted in massive soil erosion that puts the island at risk for desertification.
Today, the Icelandic Forest Service has taken on the mammoth task of bringing back the woodlands. With the help of forestry societies and forest farmers, Iceland’s trees are slowly beginning to make a comeback. Watch this short film by Euforgen to learn more about how their efforts are working to benefit Iceland’s economy and ecology through forestry.