Destruction of forests gathered pace in 2022, despite global promises

Destruction of forests gathered pace in 2022, despite global promises

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Global destruction of forests increased by 4% last year, compared to 2021, according to a new report.

A total of 6.6 million hectares of forests were lost in 2022—an area more than one and a half times as large as Switzerland, according to the Forest Declaration assessment.

The report, which was to be published in Washington on Tuesday by scientific organizations and civil associations including the environmental foundation WWF, juxtaposed the global destruction with public promises by countries, companies and investors to work toward an end to forest destruction.

Countries, companies and investors have actually publicly promised to work towards an end to the global destruction of forests and to restore as much as 350 million hectares of destroyed land by the end of 2030.

But the report says the world was a long way from this goal in 2022. Agriculture, road building, fires and commercial logging were the main drivers of destruction, the report said.

“The world’s forests are in crisis,” said Erin Matson, who works at consultancy Climate Focus and co-authored the report.

“All these promises have been made to halt deforestation, to fund forest protection. But the opportunity to make progress is passing us by year after year.”

She said deforestation would have to be reduced by 27.8% by the end of this year to meet current promises.

But there are also positive developments, the report said. For example, 50 countries worldwide are on the way to ending deforestation.

Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia, home to large rainforests that are considered important CO2 reservoirs and have important functions in the fight against climate change, were also making progress in combating loss.

2023 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Destruction of forests gathered pace in 2022, despite global promises (2023, October 24)
retrieved 25 October 2023

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