Deforestation is one of the world’s largest environmental problems. It has local-to-global consequences that include, but are not limited to: habitat fragmentation, erosion, disruptions in the water cycle, emission of greenhouse gases, biodiversity loss, and social marginalization.
How much do you know about this land-cover change phenomenon?
Question 1) True or False? One-third of the world’s forests have been deforested since the last ice age.
- Increasing demands for food and feed, mining, urban expansion, and other activities have driven humans to deforest roughly 33% of all forests on Earth.1
Question 2) The Brazilian Cerrado is _______.
- The Cerrado is often overshadowed by the Amazon, but it is an extremely biodiverse and important biome – among others, it is the ‘birthplace’ of Brazil’s water – with high rates of deforestation.2
Question 3) In Indonesia, the predominant driver of deforestation is ______.
- Palm oil is basically used everywhere for everything – from shampoos to chocolate spreads – and demands for this product keep on increasing, leading to severe deforestation in countries like Indonesia.3
Question 4) How many people live in and depend on forests and savannas across the world?
- Not only indigenous populations live in forests and depend on their products – different communities and individuals also have livelihoods based on forests and their resources.4
Question 6) What percentage of trees had humans chopped down?
- Be it due to small-scale agriculture and the need for fuelwood or to open up space for large farmlands and cities, humans have cut almost 50% of the world’s trees.6
Question 7) What change in diets can contribute to reducing deforestation in tropical areas?
- Animal-based products contribute to deforestation directly (implementation of pasturelands) and indirectly (expansion of croplands to produce feed for these animals).7
- Forests host a great amount (80%!) of terrestrial plants and animals belonging to different species.6
Question 10) Under the Bonn Challenge, how many hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes should be restored by 2030?
- If the world meets this target, the new forests could capture up to 1.7 gigatonnes of CO2e every year.10
1Roser, H. R. (n.d.). Deforestation and Forest Loss. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from ourworldindata.org: https://ourworldindata.org/deforestation
2Hance, J. (2020, 07 29). Cerrado: Brazil’s tropical woodland . Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from rainforests.mongabay.com: https://rainforests.mongabay.com/cerrado/
3Science Daily. (2019, 02 01). Palm oil not the only driver of forest loss in Indonesia. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from www.sciencedaily.com: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190201130603.htm
4FAO. (2020). The State of the World’s Forests. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from http://www.fao.org: http://www.fao.org/state-of-forests/en/
5Butler, R. A. (2020, 12 04). Amazon Destruction. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from rainforests.mongabay.com: https://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/amazon_destruction.html
6National Geographic. (n.d.). Deforestation explained. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from www.nationalgeographic.com: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/deforestation
7NASA. (2007, 03 30). Causes of Deforestation: Direct Causes. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from earthobservatory.nasa.gov: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/Deforestation/deforestation_update3.php
8DutchGreen Business. (2021, 03 14). Countries With the Highest Deforestation Rates in the World. Retrieved 97 28, 2021, from www.dgb.earth/: https://www.dgb.earth/blog/countries-highest-deforestation-rates
9 Amoah, A., & Korle, K. (2020). Forest depletion in Ghana: the empirical evidence and associated driver intensities. Forestry Economics Review, 2(1), 61–80. https://doi.org/10.1108/FER-12-2019-0020
10IUCN. (n.d.). The Bonn Challenge. Retrieved 07 28, 2021, from www.bonnchallenge.org: https://www.bonnchallenge.org/