UN Report Details Gains In Forests In Asia Leading To Decreased Deforestation Worldwide

February 3rd, 2011 BY VeganVerve | 1 Comment

Deforestation is a driving force behind global warming and species decline. Between 1990 and 2000, an average of 83,000 square kilometers of forests were lost per year. Between 2000 and 2010, this figure slowed to 52,000 square kilometers. The United Nations recently announced that this year will be the International Year of Forests.

The beginning of the International Year of Forests began with the release of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) report State of the World’s Forests. The report detailed the gain of forested lands in Asia, particularly China, Vietnam, the Philippines and India. An increase was seen in Europe and North America as well. Such gains have led to a significant slowdown in deforestation worldwide.

However, decreases continue to plague Africa and Latin America. These locations are under pressure due to the need for increased agricultural lands and firewood. Africa has high deforestation rates due to firewood use and illegal logging due to political unrest. South America, Central America and the Caribbean have heightened deforestation due to agricultural usage, such as the loss of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.

Eduardo Rojas-Briales from the FAO stated: “China has increased its forest by three million hectares (30,000 square kilometers) per year- no country has ever done anything like this before, it’s an enormous contribution. But we can also highlight the case of Vietnam, a small and densely populated country that’s implemented very smart and comprehensive forest reform- or India, which has not controlled its population as China has and where standards of living are even lower. Nevertheless India has achieved a modest growth of its forest area.”

Despite the gain in forests in these locations, environmentalists are concerned that old-growth forests are still being lost only to be replaced by newly planted forests. Old-growth forests are the key to maintaining biodiversity, a main priority for retaining not only species but ecosystems.

  1. flowers

    Deforestation – the facts and figures

    About 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed every year;

    Six of the ten countries which have lost the most forest over the last five years are in Africa;

    Those ten countries lost 8.2 million hectares;

    Logging, combustion and decomposition of trees gives rise to 20 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions – as much as that emitted by cars, lorries, trains, airplanes and boats together.

    Deforestation is the major contributor to Indonesia and Brazil becoming the world’s third and fourth CO2 emitters.

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