Assisted natural regeneration (ANR) is the human protection and preservation of natural tree seedlings in forested areas. Seedlings are, in particular, protected from undergrowth and extremely flammable plants such as Imperata grass. In addition to protection efforts, new trees are planted when needed or wanted (enrichment planting). With ANR, forests grow faster than they would naturally, resulting in a significant contribution to carbon sequestration efforts. It also serves as a cheaper alternative to reforestation due to decreased nursery needs.
ANR is labor-intensive and requires nearly constant maintenance of selected forest areas. can be effective as a community project, and people involved may see significant benefits and jobs if funding is available. However, if the forestation is not a positive change, for example if the land is needed for food, the people of the community will be unlikely to get involved and produce successful ANR.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), China has since 1999 funded extensive ANR in an effort to prevent soil corrosion in particular. Also the FAO reports that ANR is a common practice in Thailand.
ANR is gaining popularity as global climate change becomes a growing concern.