Last year, Earth lost a piece of tropical rainforest the size of a football field every six seconds, according to an analysis of satellite images. In just two years, 2016 and 2017, more trees would have disappeared in the same time frame.
In total, nearly 12 million hectares of wooded area have disappeared. At least 4 million hectares of this would have been "dense, mature" rainforest.
Mikaela Weisse of nature organization Global Forest Watch (GFW) tells in conversation with news agency Reuters that the loss of those areas is very worrying. Because it concerns older areas of nature, many animal species had settled there.
Australia lost huge parts of nature: the massive forest fires lost six times as much nature on the continent as in the previous year. In total, more than 450 people died, 34 of them from being trapped by flaming seas. Ecologists estimate that more than a billion wild animals, including numerous koalas, were killed.
In a conversation with The Guardian, Rod Taylor of the international think tank World Resources Institute tells Australia that global warming could face much more intense fires in the coming years.
More than a third of total losses in Brazil have been observed
Brazil and Bolivia also saw a lot of nature disappear. That first country is responsible for more than a third of the total rainforest loss in 2019, while Bolivia saw 80 percent more trees disappear than usual in the past year, due to major fires. Experts suspect that the fires are lit to create more space for animal husbandry.
More positive news comes from Africa and Indonesia, according to The Guardian . The Asian country is said to have managed to reduce tree cutting for the third consecutive year, while Ghana and Ivory Coast cut tree cutting in half.