The amount of forest disappearance in 2019 is the third largest in the century

A football field every six seconds…

That is how fast the world lost mature tropical forests in 2019.

The information comes Global Forest Watch, a project of the World Resources Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

Satellite imagery shows nearly four million hectares of tree cover disappeared. That is an increase from last year and the third-largest loss of tree cover this century.






Some experts find hopefulness within the bad news, however.




While Brazil’s forest loss has grown under President Jair Bolsonaro, policies to fight deforestation seem to be working in other areas, such as Indonesia, Colombia and West Africa.




The destruction of mature tropical forests is a massive hit to biodiversity. It also is responsible for about eight percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. That information comes from the World Resources Institute (WRI).




Since forests take in huge amounts of carbon dioxide, stopping their loss is critical to fighting climate change.










The United Nations set a goal of ending deforestation by 2020, but Frances Seymour says, “We seem to be going in the wrong direction.”

Seymour is with WRI.




Brazil’s reversal – Sự lội ngược dòng của Brazil




Based on satellite images studied by WRI and the University of Maryland, Brazil alone lost 1.4 million hectares of mature forest in 2019. That is more than one-third of the world total and nearly three times more than the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country with the next-largest loss.




Not counting record-breaking forest fires in 2016 and 2017, the losses in Brazil are the largest since 2006.




Until recently, Brazil had offered a reason to be hopeful. Environmental policies slowed deforestation rates from 2004 to 2015 under former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.




Robert Heilmayr calls those slowing rates “one of the greatest conservation successes” in hundreds of years. Heilmayr is with the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was not involved with the WRI research. He is an environmental economics assistant professor at the university.




Heilmayr said that Brazil’s former conservation effort gave rise to hope that policies which worked in one area could work in others, and “we are going to see an end to deforestation.”




But the latest findings show “we still have a long ways to go,” he said.

Bolsonaro called for development in the Amazon rainforest and has pulled back enforcement of environmental laws. His administration supports a law that would expand mining operations to the protected lands of native communities. It supports laws that environmental groups say would legalize land seizures.




Indonesia’s surprise – Sự ngạc nhiên đến từ Indonesia




But in Indonesia, the loss of mature forests decreased in 2019 for the third straight year.




“I’m continuing to be pleasantly surprised that there’s a decrease” in Indonesia, said Greg Asner, who also was not involved in the WRI research. Asner is director of the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science at Arizona State University.

While Indonesia lost the third-largest area of mature forest after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo, that represented the country’s smallest loss since the early 2000s.

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