Seeing the Forest for the Trees . . .

August 3rd, 2007 by Hilary

For the last hundred years, Earth has experienced a rapid loss of forested area. Reports continue to indicate huge forests losses.

Almost half of the planet’s original forest has been destroyed, mostly during the last three decades. Between 1990 and 1995, the net forest loss equaled 33 football fields per minute (112 600 square kilometers annually).

About 47 percent of the world’s forests occur in the tropical zone, 9 percent in the subtropics, 11 percent in the temperate zone and 33 percent in the boreal zone. In the tropics, about half of the mature forests, between 750 to 800 million hectares of the original 1.5 to 1.6 billion hectares, have been felled. Between 1990 and 2000 alone, natural forests in the tropics disappeared at an annual rate of fourteen million hectares, a rate of loss of an acre a second. Between 1960 and 1990, about 20 percent of total tropical forest cover was lost. (more…)