Tropical Deforestation Reduced in 2023

But overall conditions and environmental pressures remain strong, Global Forest Watch monitoring shows

According to monitoring by Global Forest Watch, a project of the nonprofit organization World Resources Institute, whose analysis is based on observations of satellite imagery, the reduction of tropical forests has slowed in 2023. However, pressures on important ecosystems are still high.

Loss of primary forests in tropical regions was reduced by 9% in 2023 compared to 2022. Nevertheless, the planet lost about 37,000 square kilometers of pristine rainforest last year. This area is almost equal to the area of Switzerland. Clearly, logging not only destroys entire ecosystems, but also contributes to global climate change, as trees absorb carbon dioxide.

New policies in Brazil and Colombia have reduced deforestation in the Amazon, but elsewhere the situation has worsened. Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Bolivia are losing the most virgin forests. However, since Brazilian President Lula took office, deforestation in his country has decreased by 36%. Colombian President Gustavo Petro has even better results, with a 49% drop. In Bolivia, however, the figure rose by 27%.

Either way, globally, the decline in forest area is increasing, particularly by 3.2% in 2023. This figure also includes clearing non-tropical forests and natural factors, such as fires, vermin, and hurricanes.