Global Deforestation Slowing but Tropical Rainforests Remain under Threat, FAO Report Shows
Rome – The deforestation rate slowed by nearly 30% from the first decade of the century to the period from 2010-2018, a key report launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) showed.
Annual deforestation decreased by around 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 the Global Forest Resources Assessment Remote Sensing Survey.
Net forest area losses have more than halved during the survey period, decreasing from 6.8 million hectares per year in 2000-2010 to 3.1 million hectares per year in 2010-2018.
The loss of tropical forests accounted for more than 90% of the global deforestation from 2000 to 2018, at 157 million hectares. Yet annual deforestation in the Tropical domain actually slowed significantly from 10.1 million hectares per year in 2000-2010 to 7 million hectares per year in the period from 2010–2018, the report said.
Cropland expansion (including oil palm plantations) is the main driver of deforestation, causing almost half of global deforestation, followed by livestock grazing, accounting for 38.5 percent. Oil palm alone accounted for 7% of the global deforestation from 2000 to 2018, it added.
Planted forest area increased by 46 million hectares in the period 2000-2018. Almost one-quarter of forests planted in this millennium replaced naturally regenerating forests, with half of this area in South and Southeast Asia.
The FAO-led study is based on the consistent analysis of 400,000 samples by more than 800 local experts from 126 countries and territories.