Deforestation has ‘accelerated’, according to a report that states the World loses an area of forest equivalent to the size of the UK every year.
The report, created by Climate Focus, states that more than 26 million hectares of trees a year were lost on average between 2014 and 2018, a 43 percent increase when compared to 2001-13.
Meeting the international target to halve the rate of deforestation by next year – an agreement that was set back in 2014 by the New York Declaration on Forests – has now been described as ‘impossible’.
‘We need to keep our trees’
The report was produced before the Amazon faced a record number of fires this year – which were linked to cattle farming by a slew of major news outlets.
According to the Guardian, Charlotte Streck, Co-Founder and Director of Climate Focus, the experts behind the report, said: “We need to keep our trees and we need to restore our forests. Deforestation has accelerated, despite the pledges that have been made.”
‘Shocking and tragic’
Reader in environmental science and policy at the University of Bristol, Jo House, added: “Deforestation, mostly for agriculture, contributes around a third of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. At the same time, forests naturally take up around a third of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
“This natural sink provided by forests is at risk from the duel compounding threats of further deforestation and future climate change. The continued loss of primary forests, at ever-increasing rates, despite their incalculable value and irreplaceability, is both shocking and tragic.”