Did you know that although the world’s forests are decreasing, the rate of loss has slowed? This is what emerges from the latest FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, the annual report providing essential data and information on the world’s forest resources, their status, management and uses.
The figures in the report are encouraging: in fact, they show that although 178 million hectares of forest have been lost worldwide over the past 30 years, the rate of loss has dropped substantially. In particular, in the 2015-2020 period, the annual deforestation rate is estimated at 10 million hectares, lower than the 12 million hectares in the previous five-year period (2010-15). And that’s not all: over the past 30 years, protected forest areas have increased to around 726 million hectares, almost 200 million more than in 1990. This year, an online interactive platform with detailed regional and global analyses for nearly 240 countries and territories has been added. This platform is a useful tool for improving sustainable forest management. Although these figures are positive, there is still much to be done to halt deforestation: since 1990 we have lost some 420 million hectares of forest resources and the forest area continues to shrink. The countries that have shown the highest loss rates in the last 10 years are Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Angola, Tanzania, Paraguay, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bolivia and Mozambique.