GR: We hear about forest replanting projects, better management, and better enforcement of forest protection, but the rate of forest loss due to logging, land clearing, and fire is increasing. Moreover, we know that many trees within existing forests have died due to drought and insect infestations. The dead trees increase the risk of wildfire. It is especially disappointing to see what happened in 2016 in Brazil. The total loss of trees is endangering earth ecosystems and human settlements with floods, fires, and the great loss of wild plants and animals.
“Global tree cover loss reached a record 29.7 million hectares (73.4 million acres) in 2016, according to new data from the University of Maryland released today on Global Forest Watch. The loss is 51 percent higher than the previous year, totaling an area about the size of New Zealand. Forest fires seem to be a primary cause of this year’s spike, including dramatic fire-related degradation in Brazil. Deforestation due to agriculture, logging, and mining continue to drive global tree cover loss from year-to-year.” —Mikaela Weisse and Liz Goldman (Global Tree Cover Loss Rose 51 Percent in 2016 « Global Forest Watch).