WORLD THREATENED FOREST
- 2 years ago
The world’s largest forest is also the site of the biggest projected losses. More than one-quarter of the region will be without forests if trends continue. Cattle ranching and agriculture are the dominant causes of deforestation in most of the region.
Atlantic Forest/Gran Chaco
The Atlantic forest—spanning parts of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina—is one of the richest rain forests in the world, with richer biodiversity per acre than the Amazon. However, the region also is where 75 percent of the Brazilian population lives, a situation that places a lot of pressure on the forests. Deforestation in the neighboring Gran Chaco, which is the largest dry forest in South America, is mainly due to conversion of forest land to cropland and pasture.
Projections for 2030 for the “Heart of Borneo”—home to most of the country’s forest—show only 33 percent of the lowland rainforest remaining. Deforestation and degradation are driven by weak governance and a lack of stability that encourages people—especially those who want to create palm oil plantations—to get what they can while they can.
This high plateau region of Brazil is not nearly as well-known as the Amazon. But it is under just as threatened—mainly from cattle ranching and the conversion of forests to soy plantations. If the current rate of loss continues, much of the Cerrado’s savannah, woodland and forests outside of protected areas will disappear by 2030.