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New study finds global forest area per capita has decreased by over 60%

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In the last 60 years, the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares, a loss that contributed to the a lot more than 60% decline in global forest area per capita. This loss threatens the continuing future of biodiversity and impacts the lives of just one 1.6 billion people worldwide, in accordance with a fresh study published today by IOP Publishing in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

A team of researchers, led by Ronald C. Estoque from the guts for Biodiversity and Climate Change, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) in Japan, have discovered that the global area has declined by 81.7 million hectares from 1960 to 2019, equal to an area greater than 10% of the complete Borneo Island, with gross forest loss (437.3 million hectares) outweighing gross forest gain (355.6 million hectares).

The team used global land use dataset to look at how global forests have changed over space and time. Consequently, the decline in global forests combined with upsurge in on the 60-year period has led to a loss of the global forest area per capita by over 60%, from 1.4 hectares in 1960 to 0.5 hectares in 2019.

The authors explain, “the continuous loss and degradation of forests affect the integrity of forest ecosystems, reducing their capability to generate and offer essential services and sustain biodiversity. In addition, it impacts the lives of at the very least 1.6 billion people worldwide, predominantly in developing countries, who be determined by forests for various purposes.”

The outcomes also revealed that the change in the spatiotemporal pattern of global forests supports the forest transition theory, with forest losses occurring primarily in the lower-income countries in the tropics and forest gains in the higher-income countries in the extratropics. Ronald C. Estoque, the lead writer of the analysis, explains, “not surprisingly spatial pattern of forest loss occurring primarily in the less developed countries, the role of more developed nations in this said forest loss must also be studied deeper. With the strengthening of forest conservation in more developed , forest loss is displaced to the less , especially in the tropics.”

“Today, tabs on the world’s forests can be an integral section of various global environmental and social initiatives, like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. To greatly help achieve the goals of the initiatives, there exists a profound have to reverse, or at the very least flatten, the global net forest loss curve by conserving the world’s remaining forests and restoring and rehabilitating degraded forest landscapes,” the authors further explain.

More info: Ronald C Estoque et al, Spatiotemporal pattern of global forest change in the last 60 years and the forest transition theory, Environmental Research Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac7df5

Citation: New study finds global forest area per capita has decreased by over 60% (2022, August 1) retrieved 1 August 2022 from

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