Expanding agriculture threatens the world’s forests
Aerial view of unpaved roads dividing a soy (Glycine max) monoculture from the native Cerrado, in the region of Ribeiro Gonçalves, Piauí, Brazil.
Up to 170 million ha of forest could be lost between 2010-2030, mostly in 11 “deforestation fronts,” if current trends continue says WWF’s latest Living Forests report. The fronts – 10 are in the tropics – are in high biodiversity priority forests including the Amazon, Congo basin, Borneo, Greater Mekong, New Guinea and Sumatra. These forests contain some of the world’s richest wildlife concentrations. Globally, the main cause of forest loss is expanding agriculture, including commercial livestock, palm oil and soy production. The report calls for forest loss to be reduced to near zero by 2020, so that forests can continue to store carbon, filter our water, supply wood, and provide habitat for millions of species and homes and food security for millions of people.