Global Forest Watch in collaboration with the University of Maryland declared that 4.1 million hectares of primary tropical forests disappeared from the Earth in 2022, so it means a surge in 10% with respect to the previous year.
Forest destruction is the result of a combination of deforestation and forest fires, the document said.
The report, based on satellite footage, pointed out that 43% of tropical forests destroyed (1.8 million hectares) were located in Brazil, mainly in the Amazon, making Brazil the world’s largest deforester.
It also pointed out that it is pressing to maintain the good health of forests, since they help us to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. According to research by Global Forest Watch of the World Research Institute, primary tropical forests devastated in 2022 emitted 2,700 million tons of CO2 into the environment, a figure equivalent to India’s fossil fuel emissions.
Forests are ecosystems that provide various services to the world’s population, support the balance of the water cycle, and contribute enormously to the adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change. They also play an extremely important role for humans: they process carbon and convert it back into oxygen, cleaning the air so that we can breathe the air, and they are carbon sinks, natural reservoirs that absorb carbon from the atmosphere.
The total area of forests is approximately 30% of the planet’s land surface, equivalent to four billion hectares, while tropical forests are the ecosystems with the greatest biodiversity, despite occupying two percent of the planet, where more than 50% of the planet’s living beings live.