Rainforest loss slows

Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
October 07, 2010



Deforestation rates in tropical countries dropped significantly during the first decade of the 21st century relative to the 1990s, reveals new data released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

FAO figures show deforestation across 121 tropical countries averaged 9.34 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010, down from 11.33 million hectares per year in the 1990s. The decline has accelerated since 2005 due Brazil's dramatic reduction of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, which peaked at 27,772 square kilometers in 2004 but is expected to come in at less than 8,000 for 2010. Overall Brazil's reduction in deforestation since 2005—which fell from 3.2 million hectares per year from 2000-2005 to 2.5 million hectares in 2005-2010—more than offset increases in forest clearing in other major forest countries including Indonesia (107 percent increase), Peru (94 percent), and Madagascar (36 percent) during the period.



Other major countries that showed sharp reductions in deforestation between the first half of the decade and the second half of the decade include Mexico (37 percent drop), Laos (24 percent), Cambodia (22 percent), and Cameroon (14 percent).

FAO estimates global deforestation fell from 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 13 million hectares per year in the past decade. Factoring in planted forests, the loss of forest cover fell from 8.3 million hectares per year to 5.2 million hectares, an area about the size of Costa Rica.



But primary forest, the most carbon-dense and biologically diverse form of forest, declined by more than 40 million hectares over the past decade, primarily a result of first-time logging. Logging of primary forest does not necessarily result in deforestation, but does register a change under FAO's classification system. After Nigeria, which has almost no remaining old growth forest, South Korea had the highest annual rate of primary forest loss at nearly 4 percent per year over the past five years.







Forest cover (excluding planted forests)Annual change
1000 ha1000 ha1000 ha1000 ha1000 ha1000 ha
19902000200520102000-20052005-2010change in rate
Angola60836595945897358352-124.2-124.2-
Benin5751504847964542-50.4-50.80.8%
Bhutan303431393193324610.810.6-1.9%
Bolivia62775600715871457176-271.4-307.613.3%
Brazil569855540767524729512104-3207.6-2525-21.3%
Burkina Faso6840619058715540-63.8-66.23.8%
Cambodia12877114671065710025-162-126.4-22.0%
Cameroon24316221162093219916-236.8-203.2-14.2%
Central African Republic23201229012275322603-29.6-301.4%
Chad13099123031190611508-79.4-79.60.3%
Colombia62382612546067460094-116-116-
Congo22675225052242022336-17-16.8-1.2%
Costa Rica226921732269236419.219-1.0%
Côte d'Ivoire100681006710068100660.2-0.4N/A
Cuba171120932309238443.215-65.3%
DR Congo160307157192155635154076-311.4-311.80.1%
Ecuador1381711680106889698-198.4-198-0.2%
Ethiopia14623132141250911785-141-144.82.7%
French Guiana8187811780998081-3.6-3.6-
Gabon2197021970219702197000-
Ghana7398603453574680-135.4-135.4-
Guatemala4697411538373484-55.6-70.627.0%
Guinea7204683266426451-38-38.20.5%
Guinea-Bissau2216212020712021-9.8-102.0%
Guyana1520515205152051520500-
Honduras8136639257925192-120-120-
India5822358223582235822300-
Indonesia118545957379415890883-315.8-655107.4%
Kenya3470337033203270-10-10-
Laos17311164331591815527-103-78.2-24.1%
Liberia4921462144714321-30-30-
Madagascar13461128501254812138-60.4-8235.8%
Malawi3764337031172872-50.6-49-3.2%
Malaysia20420199321931718649-123-133.68.6%
Mali14067132261268011960-109.2-14431.9%
Mexico70291656936318461599-501.8-317-36.8%
Mozambique43340411504005538960-219-219-
Myanmar38824341723247230785-340-337.4-0.8%
Nepal4777385835933593-530-10.0%
Nicaragua4514381433903040-84.8-70-17.5%
Nigeria1698312821107408659-416.2-416.2-
Panama3779332532483172-15.4-15.2-1.3%
Papua New Guinea31460300512934528640-141.2-141-0.1%
Paraguay21134193321843217534-180-179.6-0.2%
Peru69893684986798866999-102-197.893.9%
Philippines626867907051731352.252.40.4%
Senegal9143859282668009-65.2-51.4-21.2%
Sierra Leone3111291428132711-20.2-20.41.0%
Solomon Islands2280224022142186-5.2-5.67.7%
Suriname147631476314763147450-3.6-
Tanzania41345372623521533188-409.4-405.4-1.0%
Thailand16881158931545414986-87.8-93.66.6%
Uganda4717383733982937-87.8-92.25.0%
Venezuela52026491514771346275-287.6-287.6-
Viet Nam839696751028310285121.60.4-99.7%
Zambia52740510745024149406-166.6-1670.2%
Zimbabwe22010187741715115516-324.6-3270.7%


Note: FAO data is based largely on self-reporting by countries. So countries lack adequate systems for tracking changes in forest cover.


Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010






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CITATION:
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com (October 07, 2010).

Rainforest loss slows.

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/1006-fao_forest_cover.html