Beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products from 8 countries responsible for 1/3 of forest destruction

24 October 2014

Four commodities produced in just eight countries are responsible for a third of the world's forest loss, according to a new report. Those familiar with the long-standing effort to stop deforestation won't be surprised by the commodities named: beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products (including timber and paper). Nor will they be very surprised by most of the countries: Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay.

"The trend is clear, the drivers of deforestation have been globalized and commercialized", said co-author Martin Persson with Chalmers University of Technology.

The report, commissioned by the Center for Global Development (CGD), found that these four commodities from the eight select countries were responsible for the loss of 3.9 million hectares of forest, an area about the size of Switzerland, in just one year: 2009. Moreover, the loss of these forests emitted 1.7 gigatons of CO2 during 2009 as well.

Read more from Mongabay