It was that Global deforestation is slowing down
Annual deforestation slowed by about 29%, from 11 million hectares per year in the decade 2000-2010 to 7.8 million hectares per year in the period 2010-2018, according to a remote sensing survey of the Global Forest Resources Assessment.
The forest area deficit more than halved over the survey period, from 6.8 million hectares per year over the period 2000-2010 to 3.1 million hectares per year over the period 2010-2018.
Comparing the different regions, we see that South America and Africa have experienced the highest deforestation over the period 2000-2018 (68 million hectares and 49 million hectares, respectively). This is despite the fact that deforestation actually slowed in South America, as well as in South Asia and Southeast Asia between 2000-2010 and 2010-2018.
“This survey is important, not only for the new figures it provides but also for what it tells us about trends in forest area and drivers of deforestation, as well as for the critical ability it gives us to monitor developments,” says FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo.
“When unsustainable, agricultural development and other land uses continue to put intense pressure on our forests, especially in many of the poorest countries. Yet there are win-win solutions that we can and must develop to feed the world without destroying our forests,” she added.
The survey shows that the tropical regions of Central America are the most seriously threatened by land reallocation: 30.3% of the Central American tropical rainforest ecoregion and 25.2% of the Central American tropical rainforest were lost between 2000 and 2018.
The area of the planted forest increased by 46 million hectares over the period 2000-2018. Nearly a quarter of the forests planted this millennium replaced naturally regenerating forests, with half of this area in South Asia and Southeast Asia.