Deforestation is still one of the biggest issues Earth has to face, and it seems that it’s not going to end soon. A recent study unveils that global demands for commodities, mainly those in connection with agricultural development, are responsible for deforestation.
We’re currently at crossroads. We try so much to mitigate climate change and prevent biodiversity loss while we’re still the main culprit. When it will stop, or when we will learn?
Here is what you need to know.
Deforestation is a Continuous Process
A team of researchers raise awareness as global land-use changes might be happening at a much higher rate than predicted. The findings show that 17 % of the planet’s land surface has suffered changes at least once since the 1960s. That means a region the size of Germany annually.
New study insights
Researchers used modern satellite technology to find any changes like deforestation near real-time and examine global trends. What they discovered is genuinely intriguing yet shocking.
Over the period since 1960, Earth suffered a net forest loss of 0.8 million km2, and agricultural crops grew by 1 million km2, while pastures and rangelands, 0.9 million km2.
Such a change of forests into agriculture has been flagged by the Convention in Biological Diversity and the Paris Agreement on climate change as one of the biggest causes of deforestation.
Below, you can see how the global rate of land-use change grew until 2005 and since then has dropped:
What should we done
While the rate of land-use change has lowered worldwide since 2005, the export and production of commodity crops have increased significantly in the global south in that period.
We need all the efforts to reverse deforestation in the global south, and researchers explain that national conservation and subsidies measures are still not enough.
We actually need an advanced system that counteracts global markets. Every nation should measure its overall income, which today is made only as GDP (gross domestic product).
China, for example, has already started forest restoration incentives, and they’re already flourishing.