World’s worst countries driving deforestation


Deforestation is among the biggest contributors to climate change, affecting around ten million hectares of land every year.

A new report from Utility Bidder reveals which countries are currently responsible for the highest deforestation rates and the impact of forestry loss on CO2 emissions.

Brazil, South America – 1,695,700 hectares of deforestation. With an average deforestation rate of 1,695,700 hectares between 2015-2020, Brazil has lost more forestry than any other country. One of the main contributors to Brazil’s high level of deforestation is climate change, as changes in rainfall and temperature can affect the growth of forestry.

India, Asia – 668,400 hectares of deforestation. The country with the second highest levels of deforestation is India which has lost 668,400 hectares of forestry over recent years. As the country with the second largest population in the world, India has had to compensate for the increase in residents – this has come at a cost in the way of deforestation. With a difference of 284,400 hectares in forestry loss between 1990 and 2020, India has seen the biggest increase in deforestation.

Indonesia, Asia – 650,000 hectares of deforestation. Indonesia completes the top three list of countries with the highest deforestation rates, totalling around 650,000 hectares of forestry loss between 2015-2020. Indonesia is recognised as one of the world’s biggest palm oil producers. Palm oil has so many uses that you might not even be aware of, but one thing that is widely known is the detrimental impact that palm oil production has on deforestation.

Despite global campaigning to raise awareness about deforestation, some countries are still yet to take action. Below are the top three countries which have shown the biggest increase in deforestation levels between 1990-2020.

India, Asia – Deforestation increase of 284,400 hectares. Making its second appearance in this deforestation report, with a difference of 284,400 hectares, is India. Despite their increased levels of deforestation, this country is committed to restoring its forests, with plans to re-establish over 20 million hectares of land by 2030!

Zambia, Africa – Deforestation increase of 153,460 hectares. The African country of Zambia is next on this list, as it has the second biggest increase in deforestation when looking at the difference between the average figures from 1990-2000 and 2015-2020. Between this time frame, Zambia has gone from a deforestation rate of 36,250 hectares to a much higher 189,710 hectares.

Tanzania, Africa – Deforestation increase of 74,000 hectares. With an increase in deforestation of 74,000 hectares Tanzania completes this top three list. Tanzania has recently hit the headlines as it has been revealed that a lot of its forestry is being chopped down to cater for the charcoal industry; it is likely that this is one of the reasons for its high position in this ranking.

As well as destroying habitats and deteriorating soil, deforestation is also a big contributor towards global warming. When forests are cut down, they release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – a greenhouse gas that contributes largely to climate change.

The effects of climate change can include hotter temperatures and extended periods of drought. Although many of us like to have warm summers, forestry is not suited to these conditions and this can cause trees to die, leading to a vicious cycle of environmental destruction.

Read the full report here

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