Deforestation Declines in 2018; Still One of the Highest Years on Record

  • img Courtney Kremler
  • POSTED ON 25 Apr 2019
  • Maybe Ok


Satellite analysis has shown that millions of hectares of tropical rainforests have been cut down in 2018.

Some of the main causes of deforestation are beef, palm oil, and chocolate.

Forests are critical to maintain a stable environment and reduce climate change because of their ability to absorb carbon dioxide and house many animals.

Losses of tropical trees in 2018 were lower than in 2017 and 2016, however it was the next worst since 2002 (when record keeping began). 

Destruction of forests is extremely prevalent in Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Indonesia.

Increases in deforestation of tropical forests have been noted in Ghana and Ivory Coast. In Ghana forest destruction increased by 60% in 2018. In Ivory coast forest destruction increased by 26%. The cocoa industry is working to combat this.

Frances Seymour states that “we are nowhere near winning this is really tempting to celebrate a second year of decline since peak tree cover loss in 2016 but, if you look back over the last 18 years, it is clear that the overall trend is still upwards.”

The analysis from the World Resources Institute shows the vast destruction, which Seymour remarked that “band-aid responses are not enough.”

8.9 million acres of rainforest have been cut down in 2018. Most of this is in the Amazon.

In Brazil alone there were 4,000 hectares of illegal clearing, and the newly elected President’s policies are speculated to weaken the protection, however it is important to note this cannot be confirmed until 2019 reports come out.

In the DRC, clearing forests for agriculture and firewood caused an increase of clearing by 38% when comparing 2018 to 2011-2017.

Indonesia has policies in place that seem to be working as forest-clearing has been decreasing.

It is also important to recognize how many people die whilst trying to protest deforestation.