Despite all the warnings from scientists, international organizations and concerned citizens, despite all the promises and commitments from our governments and corporations, last year was the second-worst on record for tropical tree cover loss. The data has been gathered by the University of Maryland and was released by the Global Forest Watch. In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017. It’s hard to comprehend the scale of the destruction, and I’m not sure if your brain will be able to process the following comparison, I know mine can’t.
The tree cover loss is the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year.
My mind is blown away and my heart is shattered, even though I don’t have the mental power to imagine so much devastation.
Columbia is on top of this gloomy list. The country has faced the most dramatic increase in tree cover loss, an increase of 46% compared to 2016. The current rates of deforestation are double than the rate of loss between 2001 and 2015.
Congo is also breaking its last year’s grim record. Tree cover loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo has increased by 6% in 2017, making this the worst year on record.
After an absolutely disastrous 2016, last year Brazil experienced it’s second-highest rate of tree cover loss. This trend reverses much of the progress that had been done in the period between 2008 and 2015.
These are just a couple of the statistics, you’ll find a complete article with additional charts here. We shouldn’t be discouraged, the situation is dire, but there are millions of people around the world that understand the value of healthy forests, and I believe that our numbers are growing. We live in an increasingly interconnected world, which means that we have a lot of power and responsibilities. The destruction of the worlds forests is directly connected to our political and consumer choices.
If you want to help the forests, but you don’t know where to start, check out this info-graph with some of the most impactful solutions to deforestation. Here’s the link.