Photo: Public domain.
Boreal Forest Losing the Most GroundA new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) concludes that over a million square kilometers of forest were lost around the world between 2000 and 2005, and that both the U.S. and Canada had higher percentages of forest losses than even Brazil (a country long notorious for deforestation). How does it break down?
Some Numbers on Deforestation"Of the seven nations that contain over a million square kilometers of forest--Russia, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Indonesia, China, and the Democratic Republic of Congo--Brazil lost the most total forest during the five year time period." (source)
Brazil's losses were of 164,000 square kilometers, Canada was right behind with 160,000 sq-km, Russia was in third place with 144,000 sq-km, and the U.S. in fourth with 120,000 sq-km. That's if you look at it in absolute numbers. But if you look at the relative losses, both the U.S. and Canada lost more than Brazil: 6.0% for the U.S., 5.2% for Canada, against 3.6% for Brazil. This is bad any way you slice it...
Thankfully, Canada has just decided to protect 170 million acres of Boreal forest, a pretty big conservation deal that should improve things. Hopefully the U.S. (and everybody else) will follow their example, as well as improve forestry practices overall so that more sustainable techniques are used.