Deforestation, a relentless and pervasive environmental issue, continues to ravage our planet at an alarming rate. This destructive practice involves the deliberate clearance of forests, resulting in the loss of vital ecosystems, biodiversity, and the overall balance of our fragile Earth. Surging levels of deforestation pose an imminent threat to not only the natural world but to our own well-being too, as it exacerbates climate change, disrupts weather patterns, and undermines the availability of essential resources. The escalating magnitude of deforestation demands urgent action and concerted global efforts to combat this crisis before irreparable damage is done.
BBC news reported that “an area of tropical forest the size of Switzerland was lost last year”, despite international commitments to end deforestation. 4.1 million hectares of primary tropical forest was lost in 2022 (equivalent to 11 football pitches of forest each minute). 145 countries vowed to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030; in the first year, deforestation increased by 10%.
According to the World Research Institute, in 2022, Brazil accounted for 43% of the total global forestry loss, also stating, “1.8 million hectares of primary forest loss resulted in 1.2 Gt of carbon dioxide emissions, or 2.5 times Brazil’s annual fossil fuel emissions.”
Forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helping to regulate climate. Felling trees releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change. Forests are essential to life – They are home to ¾ of the world’s animal and plant life and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, whilst also providing food and medicines.
Indonesia has reduced its primary tropical loss year on year since 2016, proving that it is absolutely possible to curb this destructive practice. Our charity partner, Eden Reforestation Projects, work tirelessly to restore the damage humans have created by planting trees in countries most affected by deforestation; Indonesia being one of the many countries supported by Eden’s work.
Restoring our forests through tree planting is necessary, protecting the remaining forests is vital. Choosing tree-free products wherever possible decreases the demand for virgin-wood therefore protecting our forests and putting a stop to deforestation.
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt @unsplash