New Delhi: UN agency Food and Agriculture and Organization (FAO) revealed that between 2010 and 2018, the rate of deforestation worldwide slowed by nearly 30 per cent compared to the previous ten years.
“Annual deforestation decreased by around 29 per cent – from 11 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010, to 7.8 million hectares from 2010 to 2018″said the survey.
“This is despite a slower deforestation rate in South America and South and southeast Asia between 2000 and 2018” the report claimed.
Taling about survey FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo said, “This survey is important, not just for the new numbers it gives us but for what it tells us about forest area trends and what’s driving deforestation, also the crucial ability it gives us to monitor how things are evolving.
“Unsustainable agricultural development and other land uses continue to put intense pressure on our forests, especially in many of the poorest countries,” Ms. Semedo explained.
Meanwhile from 2000 to 2018, tropical forest losses accounted for more than 90 per cent of global deforestation. And while that equals 157 million hectares – roughly the size of western Europe – annual deforestation in the tropics slowed significantly from 10.1 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010 to seven million hectares annually 2010 to 2018.
“There are win-win solutions which we can and must scale up, to feed the world without destroying our forests,” assured the FAO official.
The survey claimed that Cropland expansion is the main driver of deforestation, responsible for nearly half of global deforestation, followed by livestock grazing, accounting for 38.5 per cent.
“From 2000 to 2018, oil palm planting alone accounted for seven per cent of the global deforestation” it said.
While the survey suggests that tropical regions of Central America are most severely threatened by land-use conversion, similar phenomena were detected in the region’s tropical dry forest and shrubland.
However, the small number of samples in these ecoregions, means further investigations are needed to confirm these findings.
The XV World Forestry Congress (WFC) opened on Monday, in Seoul, Korea, as well as online.
Kicking off the event, Ms. Semedo said that “no matter which crises we are facing – a pandemic, conflicts, climate change – and [their] resulting economic recession and food insecurity, we must consider our forests and our natural resources as part of the solution and integrate them in recovery plans and strategies.”
Under the main theme Building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests, leaders from the FAO, the World Bank, and youth and Indigenous representatives participated in discussions
In addition to the survey launch, as part of the Forestry Resources Assessment 2020, FAO on Monday launched its flagship State of the World’s Forests Report 2022.