India lost 668,400 ha forests in 5 years: Report
A recent study conducted by Utility Bidder, a UK-based energy and utility cost comparison site, has identified India as the second-highest contributor to global deforestation rates.
According to the report, between 2015 and 2020, India destroyed an average of 668,400 hectares of forestry, ranking only behind Brazil in deforestation rates.
While India lost 384,000 hectares of forests between 1990 and 2000, the figure increased to 668,400 hectares in the most recent five-year period.
Zambia was also noted as experiencing a significant increase in deforestation, rising to 189,710 hectares between 2015 and 2020, compared to 36,250 hectares from 1990 to 2020.
The report highlights India’s increasing population as a contributing factor to the country’s deforestation rates, stating that ‘compensation for the increase in residents has come at a cost in the way of deforestation.’
The study also found that climate change was the primary cause of deforestation in Brazil, which saw a decrease in deforestation rates from 4,254,800 hectares lost between 1990 and 2000 to 1,695,700 hectares lost between 2015 and 2020.
The report identified palm oil cultivation in Indonesia as the third-highest contributor to global deforestation, resulting in the destruction of 650,000 hectares of forests.
Causes of Deforestation in India
India’s deforestation is primarily caused by various factors, such as a rising population, industrialization, and urbanization.
These factors have compelled people to clear forested areas for agriculture, infrastructure development, and settlements, resulting in a reduction in forest cover. Deforestation is also attributed to the construction of large-scale projects like dams and mining activities.
The timber industry is another leading cause of deforestation in India, as the demand for timber has fueled illegal logging, often taking place in protected areas and resulting in significant forest loss.
Additionally, India’s growing population has led to an increased demand for fuelwood, further exacerbating deforestation.
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