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Deforestation Rate Declined

  • 15 May 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020) report, the rate of forest loss has declined in the period of 1990-2020.

  • The FRA is released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • The FRA 2020 is based on the assessment of more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period of 1990–2020.

Key Points

  • Total forest area: The world’s total forest area is 4.06 billion hectares (bha), which is 31% of the total land area. This area is equivalent to 0.52 hectares per person.
  • Top countries in forest cover — the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China constituted more than 54% of the world’s forests.
  • Forest loss: According to the report, the world has lost 178 million hectares (mha) of forest since 1990, an area the size of Libya.
  • Decline in rate of forest loss: The rate of net forest loss decreased substantially during the period of 1990–2020.
    • It was 7.8 mha per year in the decade 1990–2000, 5.2 mha per year in 2000–2010 and 4.7 mha per year in 2010–2020.
    • This is due to a reduction in deforestation in some countries, plus increases in forest area in others through afforestation and the natural expansion of forests.
  • Areas that witnessed forest loss: Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 mha, followed by South America, at 2.6 mha.
  • Areas that witnessed forest gain: Asia had the highest net gain of forest area in 2010–2020, followed by Oceania and Europe.
    • However, Oceania experienced net losses of forest area in the decades 1990–2000 and 2000–2010.
  • Types of forest loss: The largest proportion of the world’s forests are tropical (45%), followed by boreal, temperate and subtropical.
    • Naturally regenerating forest areas worldwide decreased since 1990, but the area of planted forests has increased.
  • Plantation forest cover is 131 mha, about 3% of the global forest area.
    • The highest percent of plantation forests are in South America while the lowest are in Europe.
  • Protected forest areas worldwide estimate around 726 mha.
    • South America has the highest share of forests in protected areas, at 31%.
    • The protected forest areas increased by 191 mha since 1990.

Global Forest Resources Assessment

  • The FRA presents a comprehensive view of the world’s forests and the ways in which the resource is changing.
  • It supports the development of sound policies, practices and investments affecting forests and forestry.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • FAO is also a source of knowledge and information and helps developing countries and countries in transition to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition and food security for all.
  • Formation: 16th October 1945
  • Headquarters: Rome, Italy

Source: DTE

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