March 8. Humans have degraded or destroyed roughly two-thirds of the world’s original tropical rainforest cover, new data reveals – raising alarm that a key natural buffer against climate change is quickly vanishing.
Logging and land conversion, mainly for agriculture, have wiped out 34% of the world’s original old-growth tropical rainforests, and degraded another 30%, leaving them more vulnerable to fire and future destruction, according to an analysis by the non-profit Rainforest Foundation Norway.
More than half of the destruction since 2002 has been in South America’s Amazon and bordering rainforests. As more rainforest is destroyed, there is more potential for climate change, which in turn makes it more difficult for remaining forests to survive, said the report’s author Anders Krogh, a tropical forest researcher.
“It’s a terrifying cycle,” Krogh said. The total lost between just 2002 and 2019 was larger than the area of France, he found.
Photo: France 24