Deforestation Increased In 2019, Report Shows, Warning Of Link Between Loss Of Forests, Disease Spread Between Animals, Humans

Roll Call: Report: Deforestation, linked to pandemics, increased in 2019
“Deforestation of tropical old-growth forests increased last year, according to new satellite data set to be unveiled Tuesday, wiping out acreage roughly the size of Switzerland in a period when experts are raising alarms about the transmission of a variety of diseases, including the novel coronavirus, that jump between animals and humans. … The groups that released the figures, Global Forest Watch and World Resources Institute, said the losses worldwide last year were the third-highest annual total for primary forests this century…” (Hulac, 6/2).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: No let-up in global rainforest loss as coronavirus brings new danger
“…Loss of primary forest, which hit a record high in 2016 and 2017, was 2.8% higher in 2019 than the year before. Agricultural expansion, wildfires, logging, mining, and population growth all contribute to deforestation, according to GFW researchers. Cutting down forests has major implications for global goals to curb climate change, as trees absorb about a third of the planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions produced worldwide. Forests also provide food and livelihoods for people who live in or near them, are an essential habitat for wildlife, and aid tropical rainfall…” (Taylor, 6/2).

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