New Jungle Report: – Eleven football fields are lost per minute

New Jungle Report: – Eleven football fields are lost per minute

We are losing forests at a tremendous rate. This is shown by the latest figures from the Global Forest Watch’s annual report, published on Tuesday.

It is based on analyzes of satellite imagery, and shows, among others:

  • The world lost 10 percent of its primary forests, meaning untouched forests, in 2022 compared to the previous year.
  • This corresponds to an area the size of Switzerland. This corresponds to eleven football fields per minute.
  • Forest loss caused 2.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – as much as all of India’s fossil emissions in a year.

Brennis: The Amazon rainforest originally covered the entire state of Acre in Brazil, but more than half have been cut down in some areas. Photo: Espen Røst/Bistandsaktuelt, on behalf of Norad
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“We are rapidly losing one of our most effective tools for fighting climate change, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring the livelihoods and health of millions of people,” the report’s authors wrote.

This is despite the fact that 145 countries agreed during the Glasgow Climate Summit in 2021 to end deforestation by 2030.

“Without immediate measures to stop deforestation, the world will exceed the emission target, many species will become extinct and this will have serious consequences for people. It is not too late to change course,” they noted.

the highest in 18 years

As in previous years, Brazil can still be found in the top list.

In fact, last year alone the country accounted for 43 percent of the world’s total primary forest loss. The report concludes that not since 2005 has Brazil experienced such a high level of forest loss unrelated to fires.

The main reason is the clearing of the rainforest for the use of agricultural areas, such as cattle ranching and soybean production.

Huge Contracts: The bare agricultural landscape stands in stark contrast to the lush Mato Grosso jungle in Brazil.  Photo: Espen Røst/Bistandsaktuelt, on behalf of Norad

Huge Contracts: The bare agricultural landscape stands in stark contrast to the lush Mato Grosso jungle in Brazil. Photo: Espen Røst/Bistandsaktuelt, on behalf of Norad
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It is not surprising, says Hilda Dahl, deputy director of the forest department at NORAD (Directorate for Development Cooperation). Deforestation has increased under Jair Bolsonaro, who stepped down as president last fall.

It will probably take some time before actions are taken that would actually contribute to reducing forest loss, says Dahl.

Global Forest Watch reminds us how important it is to stop deforestation, Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide (AP) tells Dagbladet.

– It’s a serious problem. In order to reach the goal of net zero by 2050, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure adequate absorption of greenhouse gases. If this were not the case, it would be completely impossible to stabilize warming, and life on the planet would become difficult.


The rainforest plays a crucial role in several areas:

  • It binds harmful greenhouse gases. When rainforests disappear, emissions increase.
  • Humid air from the Amazon is distributed in large parts of the Latin American continent in the form of showers – the so-called flying rivers. Loss of rainforests disrupts rainfall patterns and affects food production

– This is why Norway has been involved for a long time, and deforestation has become increasingly central to climate policy, says Barth Eddy.

The city swallowed by the sea

The city swallowed by the sea

Amazon reopened the box

Under Bolsonaro, regulations intended to protect Brazil’s rainforest have been relaxed. As a result, the rate of forest loss skyrocketed, and Norway froze the Amazon Fund.

After the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva last fall, the money in the fund was once again made available to the Brazilian authorities.

– We want to help them develop alternative livelihoods for farmers who engage in deforestation, and support measures that are compatible with taking care of the rainforest, says the Minister of Climate and Environment.

Some might think that Norway should first look at its emissions and sweep its front door?

– We must reduce emissions at home and take care of the forests. Our support abroad should not be an argument against cuts at home, which is why we don’t use this in climate accounting either.

– My role is completely different

Barth Eddy notes that the reduction in deforestation during Lula’s previous period, 2003-2011, corresponds to between 90 and 100 years of Norwegian emissions.

– It’s a completely different league, and in that sense we get a lot for that support.

The minister stresses that preliminary figures for 2023 paint a different picture of forest loss in Brazil:

They show that deforestation in recent months has been much lower than at the same time last year, and indicate a 30 percent decrease in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon so far this year.

– Important

Although development is heading in the wrong direction in some countries, there are bright spots in the report.

Both Indonesia and Malaysia have managed to keep forest loss near record low levels.

– It is the result of the work and effort of the authorities over a long period of time, which, among other things, took measures to deal with fires and regulate the production of palm oil. In this sense, Indonesia is an inspiration, explains Dahl from Norad.

In February, the Dagbladet journalist was in Cerrado, a tropical savanna in Brazil, meeting indigenous people and farmers who have been affected in various ways by deforestation. Read the full case here:

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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