Deforestation Current Affairs - 2020

Deforestation of Amazon Forest: Highest in 5 years

On June 12, 2020, the National Institute of Space Research (INPE) announced that the increase in deforestation of Amazon forests has been the highest in 2019 as compared to last 5 years.


The research institute has found that the deforestation has increased by 91 square kilo metre in 2019 as compared to 2018. In 2019, around 829 square kilo metres of forest has been deforested.

Key Findings

The research institute also noted the witness of Brazilian Government on deforestation. According to Brazilian Government, amazon rainforest faced deforestation record of 829 square kilometre in May, 2020. This is the highest monthly level deforestation since 2015.

Also, the Real Time Deforestation Detection System has alerted the authorities about the increase in rate of destruction of tropical rainforest in the region.

If the deforestation pace continues, in 2020, the deforestation could reach 11,900 square kilometres.

Why the increase?

Deforestation in the region has increased after President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 according to conservation groups and environmental activists. According to Bolsonaro, mining and farming in the protected areas of Amazon forest were the only ways to lift the region out of poverty. His environmental policies have been widely condemned all over the world.

Also, the destruction of the forest by illegal ranchers and loggers increased by 55% between January 2020 and April 2020.

FAO Report: Global Forest Resources Assessment, 2020

On May 13, 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization released the Global Forest Resources Assessment Report, 2020. According to the report, around 178 million hectares of forests is lost in the last 30 years. However, the rate at which the forests are being destroyed has reduced.

Key Findings

The report says that between 2015 and 2020, the rate of forest loss has declined to 10 million hectares. Between 2010 and 2015, the forest loss was 12 million hectares. This shows that the rate of forest loss is declining. The Forest Resource Assessment Report has examined the status of forests in more than 236 countries and territories between the period 1990 and 2020.

Also, the forests in protected areas increased by 191 million hectares since 1990.

Region Wise

Africa had the largest decline of forest of all the continents. Around 3.9 million hectares (per year) of forest land were destroyed in the continent between 2000 and 2010. Following Africa, South America faced largest forest loss at 2.6 million hectares (per year) in the same time period.

Europe and Asia had recorded the least forest loss.

Types of Forests

The largest proportion of the forest that currently contributes on the earth is the tropical forest standing at 45%. The tropical forests were followed by boreal forest, temperate forests and subtropical forests.

Five major countries

The report says that currently 5 major countries in the world contribute to the forest resources of the world. They are Brazil, USA, Canada, China and Russia.