It may come as a surprise that even with all the talks on environmental protection, there are still countries which are actively cutting down huge forests. When viewed from satellite imagery, the stack contrast on forest disappearance over the years can be very shocking. Huge expanse of what used to be forest has been replaced by buildings and sometimes cash crops. While some form of deforestation is may be taking place in some countries, there are some countries in which the rate of deforestation is so fast that whole forest areas have suddenly become empty exposed land. The top five countries with the highest deforestation rates in terms of areas cut are discussed below.
In the year 2005 Brazil was the country with the highest deforestation rate but has now drop to second place behind Indonesia. Brazil has over 3.5 million hectares of land cut till date. Most of the deforestation is caused by; floods from hydro dams that bring down the trees, cattle framing and the building of infrastructure, soya bean production. The loss of Brazil’s forest has always been an issue not only because of the loss of huge biodiversity resources but also of the effect the burning of trees has in increasing carbon emissions.
According to reports from the Nature Climate Change magazine, Indonesia became the country with the highest deforestation rate in 2014. The magazine reported that Indonesia lost almost 840 thousand hectares of forest. Today the country has over 1.4 million hectares of cut forest. This country which has a lot of forest than most other countries in the world is also home to huge biodiversity. However, the country is also a huge grower of palm trees and most of the forest is being destroyed to plant these trees.
Probably unknown to may, Russia has the largest forest compared to any other country in the world. The boreal forest is more extensive than the Amazon forest. The area of the Russian forest most affected by deforestation is the area towards the border with China. Along this area, a lot of the wood is cut down and used for timber. There are major concerns about this practice as those trees take very long to grow especially with the cold weather. The problem is even more compounded by the illegal logging that is done with no respect for existing rules. Although the government has tried to come out with incentives that could deter people from cutting down trees, this is far from creating any obvious impact. Today total area of forest cuts stands at 500 thousand hectares
Mexico’s deforestation rate till date stands at 395 thousand hectares with more being added every day. The rate of deforestation in this country is one of the fastest in the world. Most of the result of this damage to the forest can be better appreciated from aerial view.
The rate of deforestation in Papua Guinea has increased over the years and today the area under deforestation is a staggering amount of over 250 thousand hectares. The loss of forest has resulted in loss of biodiversity, modified habitats, and change in climate.