The World's Vanishing Forests

Demand for palm oil, soy, and other products is driving global deforestation, but there's reason for hope for the trees.
Apr 15, 2016·
Emily J. Gertz is an associate editor for environment and wildlife at TakePart.

People have been cutting and burning down forests for thousands of years. But over the past two centuries, as logging has become industrialized and the human population has grown, deforestation has accelerated at the most rapid rate in human history. Global forest cover has fallen by about 20 percent since 1800.

Forest loss is the second-largest driver of climate change, after the burning of fossil fuels, and is a major factor in a global loss of animal and plant species that is being called “the sixth great extinction.”

But there’s a glimmer of good news. As we learn more about the immense value of healthy forests for food security, a stable climate, and biodiversity, deforestation is slowing. Watch this quick video to get up to speed on the state of the world’s forests.

FULL COVERAGE: Fight for the Forests