A new study finds that the global forest area per capita has decreased by more than 60%.


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Over the past 60 years, the global forest area has declined by 81.7 million hectares, a loss that has contributed to the more than 60% decline in global forest area per capita. This loss threatens the future of biodiversity and affects the lives of 1.6 billion people worldwide, according to a new study published today in the journal IOP Publishing. Environmental Research Letters.

A team of researchers led by Ronald C. Istock of the Center for Biodiversity and Climate Change, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) in Japan, said that Jungle The area decreased by 81.7 million hectares from 1960 to 2019, equal to an area of ​​more than 10% of the entire island of Borneo, with the total forest loss (437.3 million hectares) outweighing the total forest gain (355.6 million hectares).

The team used a global land use data set to examine how global forests have changed over time and space. Thus, the decrease in global forests combined with the increase in world population Over a 60-year period, this reduced the global forest area per capita by more than 60%, from 1.4 hectares in 1960 to 0.5 hectares in 2019.

The authors explain that “forest loss and continued degradation affect the integrity of forest ecosystems, limiting their ability to generate and provide basic services and maintain biodiversity. It also affects the lives of at least 1.6 billion people worldwide, mostly in developing countries, who depend on forests for various purposes.”

The results also revealed that the change in the spatiotemporal pattern of global forests supports the theory of forest transformation, with forest losses occurring mainly in low-income countries in the tropics and forest gains in high-income countries in the outer regions. Ronald C. Stock, lead author of the study, explains that “despite this spatial pattern of forest loss occurring mainly in less developed countries, the role of more developed countries in said forest loss also needs to be studied in more depth. With the promotion of forest conservation in countries most developed Countriesforest loss is displaced to less advanced countriesespecially in the tropics.

“Today, monitoring the world’s forests is an integral part of various global environmental and social initiatives, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. To help achieve the goals of these initiatives, there is a profound need to reverse, Or at least flatten, the global net forest loss curve by conserving the world’s remaining forests and restoring and rehabilitating degraded forest landscapes.”

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more information:
Ronald C. Stock et al., The spatiotemporal pattern of global forest change over the past 60 years and the theory of forest transformation, Environmental Research Letters (2022). DOI: 10.1088 / 1748-9326 / ac7df5

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