First article: http://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation
World Wild Life : Threats deforrestation
Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They produce vital oxygen and provide homes for people and wildlife. Many of the world's most threatened and endangered animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion people rely on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter.
But forests around the world are under threat from deforestation, jeopardizing these benefits. Deforestation comes in many forms, including fires, clear-cutting for agriculture, ranching and development, unsustainable logging for timber, and degradation due to climate change. This impacts people's livelihoods and threatens a wide range of plant and animal species. Some 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year—equivalent to 48 football fields every minute.
Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change because they act as a carbon sink—soaking up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be free in the atmosphere and contribute to ongoing changes in climate patterns. Deforestation undermines this important carbon sink function. It is estimated that 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions are the result of deforestation.
Deforestation is a particular concern in tropical rainforests because these forests are home to much of the world's biodiversity. For example, in the Amazon around 17% of the forest has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly due to forest conversion for cattle ranching. Deforestation in this region is particularly rampant near more populated areas, roads and rivers, but even remote areas have been encroached upon when valuable mahogany, gold and oil are discovered.
WWF has been working to protect forests for more than 50 years. With a focus on protected areas management and sustainable forestry, WWF works with governments, companies, communities and other stakeholders to promote certification for responsible forest management practices, combat illegal logging, reform trade policies and protect forested areas.
© Nigel Dickinson / WWF-Canon
Second article: https://news.mongabay.com/2015/05/whats-the-current-deforestation-rate-in-the-amazon-rainforest/
Article published by Rhett Butler on 2015-05-15.
What's the current deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest?
LAST UPDATE: 2016-Sep-3
Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, making it the biggest component in the region's deforestation rate. Helpfully, Brazil also has the best systems for tracking deforestation, with the government and Imazon, a national civil society organization, releasing updates on a quarterly and monthly basis using MODIS satellite data, respectively. Both the Brazilian government and Imazon release more accurate data on an annual basis using higher resolution Landsat satellite imagery.
For other Amazon countries — primarily Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia since Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana are mostly outside the true Amazon basin watershed — the most reliable source for regular updates is Global Forest Watch, a platform that aggregates data from a many different sources. Currently Global Forest Watch has FORMA, a near-real-time forest cover monitoring system that also uses MODIS, and annual estimate made by a group of researchers led by a team at the University of Maryland.
Variance in monthly deforestation
Month-to-month deforestation is highly variable leading to frequent misreporting in the media. Both MODIS and Landsat cannot penetrate cloud cover, so during the rainy season — from roughly November to April — estimates are notoriously unreliable when compared to the same month a year earlier. Furthermore, most forest clearing in the Amazon occurs when it is dry. So if the dry season is early, deforestation may increase earlier than normal. For these reasons, the most accurate deforestation comparisons are made year-on-year. For Brazil, the deforestation “year” ends July 31: the peak of the dry season when the largest extent of forest is typically visible via satellite.
Nonetheless, short-term MODIS data isn't useless — it can provide insights on trends, especially over longer periods of time. Generally, comparing 12 consecutive months of MODIS data will provide a pretty good indication of deforestation relative to other years. Therefore the charts below include a history of MODIS-based data as well as the longer-term Landsat-based data. The MODIS system used by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) is called DETER, while Imazon's system is called SAD. INPE's annual Landsat-based system is called PRODES.
Current monthly deforestation data for the Brazilian Amazon
INPE and DETER are used primary for law enforcement since detection occurs on roughly a biweekly basis, enabling environmental police to take action as large-scale forest clearing occurs. The Brazilian government has cited “law enforcement” as the reason it has switched to quarterly public releases of data, asserting that more frequent releases could undermine the effectiveness of taking action against illegal tree-felling.
The deforestation is a stake for our future because forests accommodate more than 80 percent of the ground biodiversity and represent one of the last refuges for very numerous animal and vegetable species.
Contrary to preconceived ideas, forests reduce the infectious diseases. Furthermore, the not perturbed rain forests can exercise a moderating effect on the diseases caused by insects and animals. Forests are also essential to the structure and the quality of grounds. The deforestation causes the soil erosion and the mudding of streams, what reduces the access to the drinking water; at the same time in quality and in quantity. The massive disappearance of the wet rain forest for the benefit of meadows and cultures decreases in so much the evapotranspiration (evaporation + perspiration of vegetables) and thus the humidity of the air and the regional climate. When we observe well the consequences of the deforestation accumulate more and more what and it could well annoy the planet in a few years.
In conclusion, it will be necessary to watch carefully the excessive exploitation of forests because it is the future generations which will have to undergo our errors to be impacted.