Friday, September 13, 2019

Deforestation in Africa Accelerates

The greatest rate of increase in deforestation was in Africa, where rates doubled from less than 2m hectares a year to more than 4m.

Charlotte Streck, co-founder and director of Climate Focus, the thinktank that coordinated the report from 25 forest organisations, said: “Deforestation has increased rapidly in Africa, coming from a relatively low level to begin with, but it is rising very quickly but very quietly.”

In Africa much of the demand for logging comes from China, which has taken a strategic interest in the continent, buying land and doing resource deals with governments in exchange for internal investment and development cash.
“African timber is exported to China, and this is one of the three dominant causes of deforestation. China could act on illegal timber and be very effective, for instance if the Chinese government put in a requirement on tracing [timber and forest goods],” said Streck.
While some countries have embarked on tree-planting schemes, notably in Ethiopia, these have been far outweighed by the loss of existing forests.

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