Every year 10 million hectares of forest are destroyed in the world

Some 10 million hectares of forests are destroyed each year, an area larger than the size of Portugal and equivalent to that of Iceland, according to the UN, which points to this “alarming” global deforestation, along with agriculture and other changes in land use, as responsible for 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the latest report from the UN-REDD Programme, the United Nations Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) and the Green Gigaton Challenge (GGC) initiative, the world is not on track to achieve the forest goals of ending and reversing deforestation by 2030, a key aspiration to move towards the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C.

Source: Needpix

The report concludes that, for the 2030 targets to be achievable, the milestone of one gigatonne equivalent in emissions reverted by forests must be reached by 2025.

Deforestation of the Amazon

Precisely climate defense in general and reversing deforestation in the Amazon, in particular, was one of the banners of the campaign that brought to power the new president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who plans to convene a summit with the presidents this year eleven countries that share the largest plant lung on the planet.

His commitment is to restore measures to combat deforestation in the Amazon abandoned by his predecessor in office, Jair Bolsonaro, during whose tenure forest destruction increased by almost 60%, with an average devastated area of ​​11,396 square kilometres per year.

Forest fires

Among the causes of deforestation are forest fires, which in addition to destroying forests and biodiversity, release large amounts of CO₂ into the atmosphere.

Global greenhouse gas emissions

With this scenario, the UN considers that limiting the increase in average global temperature to 1.5 °C will be impossible if forests do not play an important role, both because of the massive reductions in emissions that can be achieved by ending deforestation as well as the additional carbon that can be sequestered through better forest management and reforestation.

Their calculations indicate that eliminating emissions from deforestation and increasing carbon sequestrations by promoting forest regeneration and landscape restoration could reduce global net emissions by up to 30% and, over the next decade, forests could provide up to 50% of the cost-effective mitigation available.

That goal is far from being achieved, however, taking into account that some 10 million hectares of forests are destroyed each year, deforestation that is responsible for approximately 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, along with agriculture and other changes in land use.

world Forest destroyed. Source: Flickr

“Deforestation and land degradation also undermine efforts to build resilience to climate shocks and threaten forest-dwelling communities,” laments the UN.

Around 70% of tropical forest destruction is generated by the production of basic agricultural products, including palm oil, beef, soybeans, wood and pulp and paper, says the UN, in whose opinion stopping This trend requires decoupling the production of raw materials from deforestation.

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