Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Forest Conservation: Forests have shrunk by more than 60 percent in last 60 years, 1.6 billion people affected worldwide, claims study

Tokyo : Globally, over 60 per cent reduction in per capita forest area has been recorded in the last 60 years. This has been claimed in a new study published in the ‘Journal Environmental Research Letters’. According to the study team, shrinking forest cover threatens the future of biodiversity and affects the lives of 1.6 billion people around the world. According to the study, there has been a decrease of 8.17 million hectares in forest area globally between 1960 and 2019. The decrease in forest area during this period is more than the increase in forest area.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Japan-based Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute. They analyzed global land use data and gathered information on changes in forest cover over time. The researchers found that over the past six decades, the decline in the available forest area per capita has resulted in more than 60 per cent decline in the available forest cover at the global level and due to the increase in population. It has come down from 1.4 hectare per capita in 1960 to 0.5 hectare per capita in 2019.
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Lives of 1.6 billion people of the world affected
“Continuous depletion and loss of forests affects the survival of forest ecosystems, reducing their ability to provide essential services and maintain biodiversity,” the researchers said. “It also affects the lives of at least 1.6 billion people living in the world, especially those in developing countries, who depend on forests for various purposes,” he said.

‘The role of rich countries in destroying forests should be investigated’
The study also found that the loss of forests is mainly reaching low-income countries in tropical regions, while forest cover is increasing in high-income countries in extra-tropical regions. “While the loss of forests is mainly occurring in less developed countries, the role of rich countries in this also needs to be studied more deeply,” said Ronald C. Astock, who led the study team.

Monitoring of forests being done globally
According to the researchers, monitoring of forests is an important part of various social and environmental initiatives being carried out globally, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. He made it clear that in order to meet the goals set out in these initiatives, efforts are needed to stop the loss of forest cover by focusing on the conservation of forests around the world.

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