Everyone gets half a hectare of forest per person
The analyzes were carried out by experts from the Japan Forest Research Institute, and it is Environmental Research Letters Publish their results in a journal. According to the changes in the past six decades, the forest area on our planet is reduced by 81.7 million hectares, which, when calculating population growth, means a 60 percent reduction in forest area per person.
According to spatial trends, the largest decrease can be recorded in poorer tropical countries, while the amount of forest increased mostly in countries outside the tropics with good economic status. Globally, approx. We have lost 1.4 million hectares of forest in these six decades.
Thanks to Earth observation satellites, changes can now be measured very accurately (in general land use, but especially in forest cover), and with the help of increasingly better computer model calculations, trends can be followed more accurately than ever before. Using these methods, the researchers also calculated the percentage of forest cover per capita in a global, regional and country-by-country format.
Not only has the global area of forests decreased, but the number of countries with fewer and fewer forests has also increased. In poor countries, the rate of forest loss per capita was also more significant, while their income increased less.
There is probably no need to explain the importance of forests, the presence or loss of forests directly affects the lives of about 1.6 billion people worldwide. However, the consequences of these changes affect us all, whether through changes in rainfall and hydrographic conditions, soil erosion, or even in the impact on biodiversity. In this regard, the tropical forests, which cause the greatest losses, are the most important.
In countries where forest areas are increasing in size, this is largely the result of climate protection measures or other environmental improvement investments (eg Australia, India, USA, China, etc.).
The findings draw attention to the fact that the poorest countries need support to reduce and possibly reverse the loss of their forests. An important part of this measure is that rich countries do not import timber and its products from the tropics.