The world is continuously losing regions covered by forests. In 2017, forests were cleared using fire to make land available for farms from Amazon to Congo Basin, an independent forest monitoring network told Reuters.
The total loss as reported is of the size of a country, like Italy. It was 2,94,000 sq km, just short of a record 2,97,000 sq km in 2016, according to Global Forest Watch, run by the US-based World Resources Institute (WRI), as per reports from Reuters, according to TOI.
“Tropical forests were lost at a rate equivalent to 40 football fields per minute in 2017,” Frances Seymour, of the WRI, told a news conference at a June 27-28 Oslo Tropical Forest Forum of 500 experts.
Countries like Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Madagascar and Malaysia suffered the biggest losses in 2017. “Vast areas continue to be cleared for soy, beef, palm oil and other globally traded commodities. Much of this clearing is illegal,” Seymour added in the Reuters report.