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Tropical forests see high loss of tree cover for 2nd year

In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, a forest in the Amazon is burned illegally near Novo Progresso, in the northern Brazilian state of Para. Forest degradation in 2017 in Brazil, home to most of the Amazon rainforest, made up nearly 30 percent of global deforestation, more than any other country. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

The data from the University of Maryland show tropical forests around the globe lost 15.8 million hectares (39 million acres) of tree cover in 2017 — an area the size of Bangladesh. That makes 2017 the second-worst year on record, after 2016, since researchers began gathering the data in 2001. Losses in Brazil, home to most of the Amazon rainforest, made up nearly 30 percent of the total — more than losses in any other single country.

“These numbers show an alarming story of the situation for the world’s rainforests,” Andreas Dahl-Jorgensen, deputy director of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, told reporters when the figures were presented. “It’s really a call to action for everyone.”


(National Geographic: Tropical Forest Loss — Second Worst Total Ever)

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