States & Challenges of World’s Forests
Deforestation is Getting Worse, 5 years after countries and companies vowed to stop it. The cutting and burning of tropical forests, especially mature tropical forests like much of the Amazon rainforest, is particularly damaging because of the carbon storage lost and the contribution to climate change.
It was found that, on average, tropical deforestation and tree deaths emitted more carbon dioxide per year in the past five years than the entire European Union did in 2017.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said the world won’t achieve critical emissions reductions goals without stopping deforestation and restoring the world’s forests. The high number of fires in the Amazon in year 2019 has drawn international attention to the problem and the importance of forests for slowing global warming.
In the Amazonian basin, primarily Brazil and Bolivia, farmers have been lighting fires to clear land to graze cattle. So, as demand for beef and soy rises, farmers have been able to clear more forests, even though some limits on deforestation are still in place. The monitoring has been at a standstill. In Jun 2019, deforestation in Brazil was up nearly 90 percent compared to June 2018, according to the report.
Forests are burning in large measure because some American grain giant like Ahold Delhaize, McDonald’s and Mars directly finance deforestation and repeatedly lobbied governments to stop basic environmental protections. However, in a recent study, it was found that stopping deforestation requires paying farmers to keep land in forests, in addition to strong government regulation.
Human activity can have a detrimental effect on forests and other parts of the environment, and Goal 15 pledges to reduce or reverse these consequences to provide a more viable ecological platform for sustainable development.