Bloomberg discusses how Forests Are Vanishing More Slowly, But Not Slowly Enough. A United Nations report says Africa and South America lost the most trees in the past decade, but the data don’t show the whole picture.
The world’s total forest area is decreasing more slowly than in past years, according to new data from the United Nations. But the numbers fail to show the bigger, darker picture.
The planet has lost 178 million hectares of forest since 1990, an area roughly the size of Libya. The rate of loss, however, has decreased “substantially” over the last decade due to a combination of slower deforestation, forest planting and natural forest expansion.
The situation may be more dire than the data suggest. Nations are responsible for submitting their own data to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which published the report Thursday. The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 tracked more than 60 variables in 236 countries and territories between 1990 and 2020, according to the UNFAO.
Critics contend the data submitted can be outdated and vary widely by country. The FAO said it’s currently conducting a remote sensing survey of global forest area, which it intends to publish in 2021.