PARIS: More than 43 million hectares of forest -- an area bigger than Germany -- have been lost in a little over a decade in just a handful of deforestation hotspots, conservation organisation WWF said Wednesday.
Swathes of forest continue to be flattened each year -- mainly due to industrial-scale agriculture -- as biodiversity-rich areas are cleared to create space for livestock and crops.
Analysis by WWF found that just 29 sites across South America, Africa and South East Asia were responsible for more than half of the global forest loss.
The Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, the Bolivian Amazon, Paraguay, Argentina, Madagascar, along with Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia and Malaysia were among the worst affected, it said.
In Brazil’s Cerrado region, home to five percent of the planet’s animals and plants, land has been cleared rapidly for soy and cattle production, leading to a 32.8-percent loss of forest area between 2004-2017.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported a string of looming trade-offs in using land.