- The world’s forests have shrunk by three per cent since 1990, an area equivalent to the size of South Africa and India is among the countries who are losing their forest cover faster than others, researchers have warned.
- The green cover is being more rapidly lost in some of the developing and poorest countries including India, Vietnam and Ghana.
- According to United Nation’s Global Forest Resources Assessment (GFRA) 2015 report, in low-income countries with high forest cover, forests are being cleared for direct subsistence by individuals and families and large scale agriculture for broader economic development.
- Some have policies and regulations to protect forests, but they do not have the capacity and resources to implement them.
- Agricultural land development by large and small scale producers is believed to be the main driver behind the decreases, with Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria recording the biggest losses over the past five years.
- Brazil and Indonesia, both among the highest deforestation offenders, have significantly improved their ways – with Brazil’s current net loss rate 40 percent lower than in the 1990s.
- In Australia, conservation efforts are beginning to have an impact. Australia recorded a net gain of 1.5 million hectares of forested land over the past five years, despite an overall fall from 128.5 million hectares in 1990 to 124.7 million hectares in 2015.