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Friday, July 24, 2020

FRA 2020: Africa loses 3.9m forest resources in 10 years - ITREALMS

ITREALMS
Africa has been named the largest in terms of annual rate of net forest losses in the last 10 years with 3.9 million hectares, reports ITREALMS.

According to the latest findings by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its Global Forest Resources Assessment Report (FRA) available to 
ITREALMS, between year 2010 and 2020, Africa lost 3.9 million hectares to forest resources.

This, ITREALMS gathered, is followed by South America at 2.6 million hectares. The highest net gain of forest area in 2010-2020 was found in Asia.

ITREALMS also gathered that FRA  provides essential information for understanding the extent of forest resources, their condition, management and uses.

As said by FAO the world has a total forest area of 4.06 billion hectares, which is about 31 per cent of the total land area. 

"Europe, including Russian Federation, accounts for 25 percent of the world's forest area, followed by South America (21 percent), North and Central America (19 percent), Africa (16 percent), Asia (15 percent) and Oceania (5 percent)," FAO showed in its latest findings.

In addition, FAO noted that the global forest area continues to decrease, and the world has lost 178 million hectares of forest since 1990. However, the rate of net forest loss decreased substantially over the period 1990-2020 due to a reduction in deforestation[1] in some countries, plus increases in forest area in others through afforestation and natural expansion of forests.

Africa has the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010-2020, at 3.9 million hectares, followed by South America, at 2.6 million hectares. The highest net gain of forest area in 2010-2020 was found in Asia.

Since 1990 an estimated 420 million ha of forest has been lost worldwide through deforestation, conversion of forest to other land use such as agriculture. However, the rate of forest loss has declined substantially. In the most recent five-year period (2015-2020), the annual rate of deforestation was estimated at 10 million hectares, down from 12 million hectares in 2010-2015 and 16 million hectares in 1990-2000.

The area of forest in protected areas has increased by 191 million ha since 1990, and has now reached an estimated 726 million ha (18 percent of the total forest area of reporting countries). In addition, the area of forest under management plans is increasing in all regions - globally, it has increased by 233 million ha since 2000, reaching slightly over two billion hectares in 2020.

Top ten countries worldwide for average annual net losses of forest area between 2010 and 2020 are: Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Angola, United Republic of Tanzania, Paraguay, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Mozambique.

Top ten countries for average annual net gains in forest area in the same period are: China, Australia, India, Chile, Viet Nam, Turkey, United States of America, France, Italy, Romania.

Commenting on the FRA key findings, Senior Forestry Officer and FRA Coordinator Anssi Pekkarinen said: "While the rate of deforestation decreased substantially during the last decades, it still remains a source of great concern. At the current pace we risk not meeting the 2030 SDG targets related to sustainable forest management. We need to step up efforts to halt deforestation in order to unlock the full potential of forests in contributing to sustainable food production, poverty alleviation, food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change while sustaining the production of all the other goods and services they provide."

Nenye Dom/Editor

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