Left Menu
Development News Edition

Deforestation has slowed down but still remains a concern, new UN report reveals

The finding comes in its latest Global Forest Resources Assessment report (FRA 2020), which aims to turn the tide on deforestation, or the conversion of forest to other uses such as agriculture.

UN News | Updated: 21-07-2020 22:43 IST | Created: 21-07-2020 22:43 IST
Deforestation has slowed down but still remains a concern, new UN report reveals
FAO estimates that deforestation has robbed the world of roughly 420 million hectares since 1990, mainly in Africa and South America. Image Credit: Wikipedia

Although some 178 million hectares of forest have been lost worldwide over the past three decades, the rate of loss has declined substantially during this period, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Tuesday.

The finding comes in its latest Global Forest Resources Assessment report (FRA 2020), which aims to turn the tide on deforestation, or the conversion of forest to other uses such as agriculture.

"The wealth of information on the world's forests is a valuable public good for the global community to help facilitate evidence-based policy formulation, decision-making and sound investments in the forest sector," said Maria Helena Semedo, the FAO Deputy Director-General.

Forest area decreasing

The global total forest area stands at some 4.06 billion hectares but continues to decrease, according to the report.

FAO estimates that deforestation has robbed the world of roughly 420 million hectares since 1990, mainly in Africa and South America.

The top countries for average annual net losses of forest area over the last 10 years, are Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Angola, Tanzania, Paraguay, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bolivia and Mozambique.

Sustainability at risk

However, there is good news as the rate of forest loss has declined substantially over the past three decades. The annual rate of deforestation was estimated at 10 million hectares between 2015-2020, compared with 12 million during 2010-2015.

The area of forest under protection has also reached roughly 726 million hectares: nearly 200 million more than in 1990.

Still, there is cause for great concern, according to FAO.

Senior Forestry Officer Anssi Pekkarinen, the report's Coordinator, warned that global targets related to sustainable forest management are at risk.

"We need to step up efforts to halt deforestation in order to unlock the full potential of forests in contributing to sustainable food production, poverty alleviation, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change while sustaining the production of all the other goods and services they provide", he said.

Forests: for people and the planet

The FRA report has been published every five years since 1990. For the first time ever, it contains an online interactive platform with detailed regional and global analyses for nearly 240 countries and territories.

"These newly released tools will enable us to better respond to deforestation and forest degradation, prevent biodiversity loss and improve sustainable forest management," said Ms Semedo, the FAO deputy chief.

The UN agency believes forests are at the heart of global efforts to achieve sustainable development that benefits both people and the planet.

Protecting forests is critical as millions worldwide depend on them for their livelihoods or for food.

Forests also contain thousands of different tree, mammal and bird species, among other life forms, and they help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Therefore, information about forests, such as the report, play a vital role in conservation.

Visit UN News for more.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

5G will be the key driving force for COVID-19 recovery: Here's how?

... ...

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

Videos

Latest News

Spurs' record-tying 22-season playoff streak ends

The San Antonio Spurs record-tying streak of 22 straight postseason appearances came to an end on Thursday. The streak officially ended just minutes before the Spurs took the floor to play the Utah Jazz. The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Su...

Hubble helps uncover mystery of Betelgeuse's dimming

New observations by the NASAESA Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the unexpected dimming of the supergiant star Betelgeuse was most likely caused by an immense amount of hot material ejected into space, forming a dust cloud that blocked s...

Darvish sharp, Schwarber homers as Cubs top Brewers

Yu Darvish carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and the Chicago Cubs held on for a 4-2 win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night. Brewers slugger Justin Smoak broke up Darvishs no-hit effort with one out in the seven...

China's July retail sales unexpectedly slip, factory output growth steady

Chinas retail sales unexpectedly fell in July from a year ago while the comeback in factory output was slower than forecast amid signs the recovery in the worlds second-largest economy remains fragile.Industrial output grew 4.8 in July from...

Give Feedback