Scientists conducted an analytical review of data based on satellite images outlining changes in that region between 2001 and 2018.
They defined the concept of degradation as transient or long-term changes in forest conditions caused by humans.
Degradation is different from deforestation, in which the forest is completely removed and a new land use, such as agriculture, is established in its place,the experts were quoted as saying by the journal Sciencie.
Although heavily degraded forests may lose almost all their trees, the land use itself does not change, the experts said.
Despite the uncertainty about the total effect of these disturbances, it is clear that their cumulative effect may be as important as deforestation for carbon emissions and biodiversity loss.
The scientists propose the creation of a forest degradation monitoring system, as well as preventing and curbing illegal logging and controlling the use of fire.
They also suggest using different types of technologies and sensors to collect useful data to improve the quality of the environment.