Iceland is Europe’s most sparsely populated country, with a population density of 3 people per km2. It is also Europe’s least forested country. Over a century of forestry has proven that past land-use rather than cool, harsh climate or volcanic activity explains the treeless landscape of Iceland. Compared to the other Nordic countries, forestry in Iceland is still in its infancy; semi-natural woodland covers 1% of the country and another 0,5% is covered by forest plantations – most of them quite young. A major share of Iceland’s barren but beautiful volcanic landscape suffers however from soil erosion and desertification; a result of past deforestation and land-use. Consequently much of the afforestaton efforts of today concentrate on soil protection and the prevention of further soil erosion.