Two-thirds of global tropical rainforests destroyed or degraded - RFN
Two-thirds of the world's rainforests have been degraded or destroyed by humans, revealed the latest report by Rainforest Foundation Norway.
This is particularly concerning taking into account that rainforests are the key natural buffer against climate change, contributing to the reduction of climate-warming emissions.
Around 64% of the damage to these lands had been inflicted by logging and land conversion, mainly for agriculture.
And since 2002, more than half of that destruction has been recorded in South America’s Amazon and bordering rainforests.
Rainforests in Southeast Asia (mostly in Indonesia) and Central Africa rank second and third in terms of forest destruction.
The report's author, Anders Krogh, called it a “terrifying cycle” as the rate of loss in 2019 roughly matched the annual level of destruction over the last 20 years.
“Permissive environmental laws and inadequate law enforcement on illegal activities combined with increasing international demand makes land speculation in this area a lucrative business,” the foundation said.
“Invisible to the average consumer, their soy is fed to large amounts of livestock and farmed fish produced and sold in Europe.”
Brazil, in particular, which is the second largest producer of soybeans worldwide, accounted for 30% of global soy production.
At the same time, Brazilian beef accounts for 24% of tropical deforestation globally, research by Our World in Data found.