In just thirty years, the world’s forest area has increased from 41,282,694 km2 in 1990 to 39,958,245 km2 in 2016. In percentage terms, the % of land area has decreased from 31.62% to 30.71%. In today’s article we will analyse which areas have the most forests in the world and which areas have seen the most deforestation in recent years. Deforestation and Forest Loss
What is deforestation
Deforestation can be explained as follows. It is the removal of a forest and/or woodland from the piece of land that is in turn converted to non-forestland. The decrease in this forest area is therefore defined as deforestation. As we have seen above, the figures for the last 30 years show a global decrease of 1.3 million km2 in just 30 years. But which are the nations in the world that have the largest forest areas and at the same time are losing them or, in the best case, increasing them?
The world’s leading country in terms of square kilometres of forest is the Russian Federation. In Russia, the number of square kilometres of forest in 1990 was 8,089,500. The 2020 figures have even increased, if only slightly. In fact it has reached 8,153,000 square kilometres. The second most forested country is Brazil. However, if we compare 1990 with 2020, Brazil has seen a huge amount of deforestation. From 5 million 888 thousand square metres in 1990, the amount of land dedicated to forest has fallen to 4 million 966 thousand square kilometres. That is a drop of almost over 1 million square kilometres in just 30 years. In third and fourth place are Canada and the United States, whose figures are stable. In fifth place is China, which, despite having maintained fifth place from 1990 to 2020, has seen its forests grow from 1.571 million kilometres to almost 2.2 million square kilometres.
Largest forest in the world
The worldwide figures are certainly not positive. The presence of forests worldwide is decreasing. So which are the largest forests in the world?
- Amazon rainforest; Area: 5.5 million km². South America including Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela.
- Congo Rainforest, area: 3 million km², Africa. Including: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon.
- Valdivian Temperate Rainforest, area: 248,100 km2, South America including Chile, Argentina.
- Tongass National Forest, area 68,000 km2, North America – United States
Largest forest in the United States
In 2020, the United States is the fourth largest forested nation in the world. In fact, the total square metres of forested land in the United States is 3,097,950 square kilometres. But which are the largest forests in the US?
Video Deforestation and Forest Loss
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