Tropical Deforestation

In the tropics, large amounts of forests have been cleared away every year.

It is estimated that forest areas totalled 6 to 7 billion hectares before humans began agriculture. Today, only about 4 billion hectares remain. Causes of this decline include excessive logging, conversion to agricultural land, and forest fires.

In 2020, 4.2 million ha of tropical primary forests were lost.

Tropical primary forest loss, 2002-2022

Source:World Resources Institute (2023)

Much of the timber harvested is consumed in developed and emerging countries, including Japan, and measures by these consuming countries are essential to protect tropical forests.

Most of the harvested timber is consumed by developed and emerging countries, including Japan.

Therefore, the problem of deforestation is not the matter only to the tropical countries where the forests are cut down. It is important that measures are taken by these countries to protect the tropical forests that remain,

Countries where harvested timber is used

Source:OWID (2023)

The decline of tropical forests has resulted in the loss of habitat for many species, adding to the warming process.

(Written by: Yuko Onishi)


World Resources Institute
, 2023, Tropical primary forest loss, 2002-2022.

Our World in Data
(OWID), 2023, Who is contributing to deforestation abroad? 2013.