There is no new threat as a core virus in Global Rainforest Loss

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KUALA LUMPUR: Tropical rainforests disappeared at the rate of one football pitch every six seconds last year, researchers said on Tuesday, urging countries to include forest protection in the epidemic plan.
According to data from the Global Forest Watch (GFW), a loss of 3.8 million hectares (9.3 million acres) of tropical primary forest in 2019 – which means that the area of ​​old-growth trees intact – was the third-largest decline in the third century. .
“Primary forests are the areas we are most concerned about – they have the greatest implications for carbon and biodiversity,” said Mikaela Weise, project manager of the GFW Forestry Monitoring Service operated by the World Resources Institute.
“The fact that we’re losing them so fast is really concerning,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Primary forest loss, which reached record highs in 2016 and 2017, was 2.8% higher than before in 2019.
According to GFW researchers, agricultural expansion, wildfires, logging, mining and population growth all contribute to deforestation.
Cutting down forests has major implications for global goals to curb climate change, as trees absorb one-third of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions produced worldwide.
Forests also provide food and livelihood for those who live near or around them, an essential habitat for wildlife, and tropical rain aids.
Vanisse said that governments that prepare coronovirus economic stimulus plans should be involved in forest protection measures.
In the short term, the virus can weaken enforcement of forest laws, taking advantage of which people can commit environmental crimes.
He said that in the medium term, economic stress could increase the pressure for more extractive industries in forests or large-scale agriculture.
He said that workers who come home from cities after losing jobs can turn to forests to graze their families, which increases the risk of deforestation.
“The situation has changed,” VVS said of the COVID-19 epidemic. “What we need to do has also changed.”
Forest fire
Researchers at GFW said last year the top three countries for primary forest loss – Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Indonesia – are largely the same.
Brazil accounted for more than a third of all primary forest loss in 1.36 million hectares in 2019.
According to the data, several Brazilian wildfires made international headlines last year, but have already cleared land for agriculture and cattle due to deforestation.
GFW said neighboring Bolivia experienced a record-breaking primary forest loss on 290,000 hectares, as both forests were on fire.
And Australia experienced a 560% jump in tree cover loss from 2018, driven by unprecedented bushes that easily made it the country’s worst year on record.
The DRC saw its deficit fall to 475,000 hectares, yet it is the third largest year on record for an African country, data showed.
Malaysia lost 120,000 hectares of primary forest last year, trailing 162,000 hectares from Peru in 6th place.
According to GFW, the figure for Indonesia remained at historically low levels for the third consecutive year at 324,000 hectares, a 5% decrease in 2018 losses.
Aries Wijaya, forest and climate manager of the think tank World Resources Institute Indonesia, said, enforcing strict laws to prevent forest fires and land clearing, and ban forest-clearing and new oil-palm concessions.
Vijaya said, “I (now) would like the government to not only try to reduce deforestation, but also prevent deforestation.”
As southeastern Asian nations fight the coronovirus epidemic, it is important that funds earmarked for forest protection and restoration are not actualized to help the broader economy and healthcare system.
In total, Tropics lost 11.9 million hectares of tree cover – including all natural forests and plantations – in 2019, according to GFW data.
Weiss said, “There has been a lot of international effort to slow down or stop tropical deforestation, and the fact that we are not seeing a bounce in numbers on a global scale is something we are concerned about . ”

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