Africa has become greener in the last 20 years

Last Updated: May 29, 2017

Africa’s population is growing but the continent is getting more and more green, say the scientists. Despite the technogenic and anthropogenic factors, the nature forces are much stronger. Africa has become greener over the past 20 years, shows recent study.

The scientists revealed in their recent publication for journal Nature Ecology and Evolution that 36 percent of the African continent has become greener, while 11 per cent is becoming less green.

According to co-author Martin Brandt from the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen, Africa has changed. While the natural forces make the continent greener, people remove trees and bushes from the continent. Despite all this, 36 percent of the continent has become greener, while 11 per cent is becoming less green.

Now, scientists have quantified for the first time how vegetation across the continent has changed in the past 20 years.

“Our results are both positive and negative. Of course, it’s not good that humans have had a negative influence on the distribution of trees and bushes in 11 per cent of Africa in the last 20 years, but it doesn’t come as a complete surprise,”

says researcher Brandt.


In densely populated regions, people are cutting down trees and forests, but elsewhere, where human populations are more thinly spread, bushes and scrub vegetation are thriving.

The researchers stress that the problematic zones in Africa (trees and bushes are disappearing on regular basis) are not so large as green ones. That is a very positive moment, at least from a climate point of view, say Danish scientists.