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Visualizing Tropical Forest Loss in 2023

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

Voronoi graphic showing tropical forest loss in 2023.

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Visualizing Tropical Forest Loss in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Tropical forests are between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. These vast green areas are crucial for the planet as they host diverse ecosystems, containing nearly two-thirds of global biodiversity.

In addition, they absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

This graphic visualizes the top 10 countries by tropical forest loss in 2023, measured in hectares. This data was sourced from the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use

In 2021, leaders of 145 countries pledged to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. With only six years remaining until that deadline, it’s uncertain whether the world will meet this goal.

However, some progress is being made, especially in Brazil. The 1.14 million hectares it lost in 2023 is significantly lower (-36%) than the 1.77 million hectares it lost in 2022.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Bolivia, Indonesia, and Peru were the four other countries rounding out the top five, with about 1.5 million hectares of tropical forest loss between them.

Country Primary Forest Loss (Hectares)
🇧🇷 Brazil1.14M
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)530K
🇧🇴 Bolivia490K
🇮🇩 Indonesia290K
🇵🇪 Peru150K
🇱🇦 Laos140K
🇨🇲 Cameroon100K
🇲🇬 Madagascar80K
🇲🇾 Malaysia80K
🇨🇴 Colombia70K
🌍 Rest of World680K

Still, the world lost a total area of 3.75 million hectares last year, equivalent to losing almost 10 football (soccer) fields of forest per minute.

According to the World Resources Institute, while this represents a 9% decrease from 2022, the rate in 2023 was nearly identical to that of 2019 and 2021.

All this forest loss produced 2.4 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide emissions in 2023, equivalent to almost half of the United States’ annual fossil fuel emissions.

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