20 March 2023.
The Deforestation Report by Utility Bidder has revealed that India has seen the highest surge in deforestation in the past 30 years. The country lost 384,000 hectares (ha) of forests between 1990 and 2000, but the figure rose to 668,400 ha between 2015 and 2020. This trend makes India the second-largest country with deforestation after Brazil. The report analyzed the deforestation trends of 98 countries using data aggregator Our World In Data’s figures from 1990 to 2000 and 2015 to 2020. Here are some key points from the report.
Cattle Rearing and Oil Seed Cultivation Responsible for Most Deforestation
The report highlights that cattle rearing and oil seed cultivation are the leading causes of global deforestation. Cattle rearing alone causes an annual loss of 2,105,753 ha of forests, followed by the cultivation of oil seeds causing a loss of 950,609 ha.
Palm Oil Cultivation Leads to Deforestation in Indonesia
Indonesia witnessed a significant loss of forests due to palm oil cultivation, leading to the destruction of 650,000 ha of forests. It ranks third globally in terms of deforestation.
Soybean Cultivation is Another Driver of Deforestation
While palm oil has been a big driver of deforestation for many years, soybean cultivation is also responsible for significant deforestation globally. The report states that many ha of grassland and forests have been destroyed to make room for soybean cultivation.
Logging is the Third Highest Factor Responsible for Deforestation
Logging is the third highest factor responsible for deforestation, causing around 678,744 ha of annual deforestation globally.
India Compensates for Increase in Population at the Cost of Deforestation
The report suggests that India has had to compensate for the increase in residents due to its status as the country with the second-largest population in the world. This has come at the cost of deforestation, making it the country with the largest increase in deforestation from 1990 to 2020, with a difference of 284,400 ha in forestry loss.
Brazil Loses Forests Due to Climate Change
Brazil ranks first globally in terms of deforestation, having lost 1,695,700 ha of forests between 2015 and 2020. However, this is much lower than the 4,254,800 ha it lost between 1990 and 2000. Most of the forests were lost due to climate change.