130,000 square kilometers of forests are cut down or burned every year – equivalent to 3 times the area of Denmark, a football field every 1.4 seconds, or 100 large harvesters working non-stop.
The main reasons for the loss of forests is production of timber, and making room for growing cattle, soy, and palm oil. Clearing forests for palm oil plantations is a growing problem. Palm oil is used to produce bio-fuels and cosmetics.
The clearing of forests is a big contributor to global climate change. About 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from the clearing of tropical forests.
In the Amazon, the loss of a critical mass of rain forest could tricker further dieback moving the forest into a vicious circle of self re-inforcing destruction.
It is possible to buy forest-friendly products, but it’s not always easy tell them apart from those that are not. The Forest Disclosure and the Forest Stewardship Council are working to make it easier. Look for products with their labels!