Clearcutting in Ontario’s Boreal Forest
Credit: Jeff Wells
Some troubling news came up today: a new report published in the Annals of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that the world’s total forest cover shrank by 3.1 percent between 2000 and 2005–the report used satellite images and data to track forest loss.
The world’s great boreal forests, which make up 26.7 of the world’s forest cover, were the hardest hit of any major forest landscape, losing 4% of their cover over that period. Canada, which is home to the majority of North America’s Boreal Forest and the breeding grounds for between 3-6 billion migratory birds per year, weighed in at an astonishing 5.2% total forest cover loss, proving that large-scale devastation isn’t only happening in the world’s tropical forests.
This is truly sad news for the world, as forest loss seems to be happening just about everywhere trees grow. It also shows how we need more of a concerted international effort to reduce deforestation on a global scale, and to make forest protection a higher international priority.