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The Domino Effects of Tropical Deforestation



The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition

The Domino Effects of Tropical Deforestation

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), we lose over 10 million hectares of forests every single year. That’s the same as losing an area the size of New York’s Central Park every 18 minutes.

In this graphic from our sponsor LEAF Coalition, we take a look at the drastic knock-on effects of tropical deforestation: from significant greenhouse gas emissions and irreversible loss in biodiversity to the impact on the lives of Indigenous Peoples.

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector

When looking at how greenhouse gas emissions break down by sector, the agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for nearly 15% of global emissions.

Moreover, global models estimate that net emissions from land use and land use change are mostly as a result of deforestation.

Sector% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2019
Energy: Electricity & Heat31.8%
Agriculture, Forestry, & Other Land Use 14.9%
Energy: Transport14.3%
Energy: Manufacturing & Construction12.7%
Energy: Fugitive Emissions6.8%
Energy: Buildings6.2%
Industrial Processes 6.1%
Energy: International Bunker2.6%
Energy: Other Fuel Combustion1.2%

From 2002-2015, a handful of commodities were responsible for 55% of all agriculture-linked deforestation. These include:

  • Cattle: 36.7%
  • Palm oil: 8.5%
  • Soy: 6.7%
  • Cocoa: 1.9%
  • Coffee: 1.5%

And according to Forest Trends, half of global tropical deforestation occurs illegally as a result of this demand.

Impacts on Nature and People

The damage from tropical deforestation also extends to loss of biodiversity which has significant impacts on Indigenous Peoples and the animal population.

  • 50,000: Estimated number of species that become extinct each year due to deforestation.
  • 60M: Indigenous Peoples worldwide who completely depend on forests for their livelihoods.

Protecting tropical forests is vital to mitigate these critical losses. Does your business want to do more to fight climate change? 

Join the LEAF Coalition, the world’s largest public-private initiative to halt tropical deforestation.

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