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What Threatens the Rainforest?

A recent analysis of ‘Intact Forest Landscapes’ (IFLs) by World resources Institute and others9 warned that pristine forests are being degraded at an alarming rate. Over 1 million km2, an area three times the size of Germany, has been degraded between 2000 and 2013, according to the study. 25% of the degradation was found in the Amazon Basin and 9% in the Congo Basin. The IFL, mostly primary forest, is assessing the remaining large forested wilderness areas, of which 95% is found in boreal and in tropical forest. The tropical rainforest, with its incredible biodiversity, unique ecological services and vital importance for indigenous peoples and local forest-based communities is the main focus of this report. In parts of the report, the term ‘tropical forest’ is used, covering the continuum from flooded forest and mangroves on the one side, via rainforests and moist deciduous forest, to dry tropical forest on the other. This is both because these other tropical forest types are important in terms of development, livelihood issues and ecosystem services, and because available statistics are often based on this broader category. Tropical forest, including rainforest, represents approximately 45% of the world’s forests (17–18,000 km2).

Year: 2015

From collection: State of the Rainforest

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal

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