Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

(Image: Greenpeace)

Groups: Time Is Now To End 'Shocking Degradation' of World's Forests

'We will lose these incredible landscapes and the forests that they contain if no action is taken to protect them.'

Sarah Lazare

The world's last remaining forest wildernesses are being damaged and destroyed by human activity at the shocking rate of 20,000 hectares—nearly 50,000 acres—per day, according to research findings announced Thursday.

Greenpeace, the University of Maryland, Transparent World, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund-Russia employed satellite imaging and mapping technology to chart out the global loss of Intact Forest Landscapes, which are unbroken areas of forest large enough to display biodiversity and bearing no damage from human logging, road construction, fossil fuel extraction, and more.

According to the groups, if something is not done to end the rate of destruction, these vital ecosystems could be wiped out completely before the end of next century.

The mapping done by the research found that a total area of IFLs three times the size of Germany was degraded between 2000 and 2013—amounting to over 8 percent of the world's undisturbed forests.

The largest areas of forest wilderness destruction taking place in the Northern Boreal forests of Canada, Russia and Alaska and tropical forests including the Amazon and Congo basins. Canada, Russia and Brazil are responsible for over 50 percent of this degradation, with extractive industries playing a critical role in the damage.

“There is an urgent need for governments to heed the calls of their citizens and to respect the rights of forest-dependent peoples by properly protecting remaining intact forests,"  said Dr. Nigel Sizer, Global Director of the Forest Program at WRI, and head of Global Forest Watch.

"Most of the degradation of intact forest landscapes is caused by fragmentation from roadbuilding, logging  and clearing, meaning that we will lose these incredible landscapes and the forests that they contain if no action is taken to protect them," reads a Greenpeace statement about the findings.

 

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Store Walkout Over Firing of Starbucks Union Organizer Racks Up 20 Million Views on TikTok

"Starbucks continues its rampant firing of union leaders."

Jake Johnson ·


70% of Americans Support Deciding State Abortion Rights by Ballot Measure: Poll

After an "enormous victory" in Kansas, some progressives argue that ballot measures "are the next frontier" for protecting access to reproductive healthcare.

Jessica Corbett ·


Judge Rules Walgreens 'Substantially Contributed' to San Francisco Opioid Crisis

"Walgreens knew its system to detect and stop suspicious orders was nonexistent but continued to ship opioids at an alarming pace to increase profits," said an attorney for the California city.

Brett Wilkins ·


Historic Climate Bill, Say Clear-Eyed Critics, Still 'Pours Gasoline on the Flames'

"This was a backdoor take-it-or-leave-it deal between a coal baron and Democratic leaders in which any opposition from lawmakers or frontline communities was quashed," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett ·


Doctors Against Oz Launch Campaign Denouncing GOP Candidate as 'Quack'

"ShamWow guy + stethoscope = Dr. Oz," said John Fetterman, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Pennsylvania.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo