The FAO’s Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) reports global gross deforestation to be 130,000 km2 annually for the decade 2000–2010, and 160,000 km2 for the previous decade 1990–2000. Out of this, forest in ‘rainforest basins’ (using a wider definition than used in this report) lost on average 63,000 km2 annually (1990–2010). Other studies, and recently also a remote sensing study by FAO and JRC indicates that the deforestation rates reported by FRA 2010, although dramatic, may be too optimistic. The remote sensing study by FAO and the European Commission Joint Research Centre JRC reports that global gross deforestation (reduction in ‘forest land use’) over the 1990–2010 period was 155,000 km2 per year. The tropical forest area was reduced by 1.3 million km2 in the same two decades, and as this figure is net change the deforestation figure would be even higher if one excluded plantations.
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From collection: State of the Rainforest