A new study by the Rainforest Foundation in Norway shows that humans have degraded or completely destroyed nearly two-thirds of the world’s pristine tropical rainforests. “The total area lost between 2002 and 2019 is greater than France,” she says. Scientists indicate that an important natural barrier against climate change is disappearing.
“The total area lost between 2002 and 2019 is larger than France,” explains Anders Krogh, the scientist who contributed to the study. In 2019, Earth lost a piece of tropical rainforest the size of a soccer field every six seconds, according to an earlier analysis of satellite imagery. If more rainforests were destroyed, it would inevitably have an impact on climate change.
Commercial agriculture is the main cause of deforestation worldwide. Forest areas are cleared to make room for livestock and crops. Other important factors are road construction, mining activities, and land speculation. This results in a loss of plant and animal species and also a loss of a number of natural trump leaves, such as capturing, storing and purifying water and storing carbon or carbon dioxide.
More than half of the devastation since 2002 has occurred in the South American Amazon and neighboring rainforests. More and more fires are being lit to create more space for livestock. The situation has become even more dramatic since Jair Bolsonaro came to power. Brazil has the largest piece of tropical forests in the world. We see this is where the biggest loss occurs. “There is something that needs to be done urgently,” Koch said.
The islands of Southeast Asia, which mostly belong to Indonesia, rank second when it comes to deforestation. An enormous amount of forests are cut down for palm oil and plantations. Central Africa ranks third on the list of most devastated regions, especially the area around the Congo River.
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