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Every minute the world loses an area of ​​rainforest equal to 10 football fields

On April 28, researchers said that the trend of deforestation for crops and livestock had increased last year, and warned that climate change was making it difficult to reverse the damage. this.

According to an annual study by the Global Forest Monitoring Organization, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the University of Maryland (USA), an estimated 11.1 million hectares tropical forest destroyed in 2021, of which 3.75 million ha is primary forest. This means that every minute the world is losing an area of ​​forest equivalent to the size of 10 football fields, said WRI’s director of forests, Rod Taylor.

More than 40% of the rainforest destroyed last year was in Brazil, with 1.5 million hectares cut down or burned. According to WRI, last year, the rate of forest destruction not related to forest fires but due to causes such as clearing for agriculture increased by 9% compared to 2020. Brazil is followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo with nearly 500,000 hectares of variable forest. loss, while the level of deforestation in Bolivia has reached a record level of nearly 300,000 hectares.

The latest report shows that the rate of primary rainforest destruction in 2021 has decreased by 11% compared to the previous year due to wet weather helping to limit wildfires, but this number remains at a high level. unusually high. According to the researchers, this has resulted in the release of 2.5 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, equivalent to the annual emissions from fossil fuels in India.

Not only tropical forests, the report also shows that boreal forests in the Northern Hemisphere have suffered the most severe destruction in two decades. Last year’s wildfire season cost Russia 6.5 million hectares of forest, the highest ever. The researchers are concerned about the risk of a loop when wildfires will produce more CO2 emissions, causing rising temperatures with the threat of wildfires.

Given the situation, analysts have urged governments to act quickly to meet their goal of ending deforestation this decade. At the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in November 2021, 141 global leaders pledged to end and reverse deforestation by year 2030.

Since most of the forest loss in 2021 occurred before countries had agreed on this goal, WRI believes that the latest figures can be used as a reference number to assess the effectiveness of the measures. solution. However, the researchers also warn that the annual percentage of primary forest will continue to decline significantly for the rest of this decade, and that climate change is making it difficult to protect existing forests. now.

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