According to a report by Utility Bidder, a United Kingdom-based comparison site for energy and utility costs, India lost 668,400 ha forests in 5 years, 2nd highest globally.
- The study highlighted the trend of deforestation of 98 countries with data collated from 1990 to 2000 and from 2015 to 2020 by Our World In Data, an online data repository.
- India ranked the second highest for the rate of deforestation after losing 668,400 hectares of forest cover in the last 30 years.
- Brazil and Indonesia clocked in at first and third respectively with Brazil recording 1,695,700 hectares and Indonesia recording 650,000 hectares of deforestation.
- Zambia recorded the second biggest deforestation increase for the same period, with a rise to 189,710 ha between 2015 and 2020, compared to 36,250 ha from 1990-2020.
- India also topped the chart for biggest increase in deforestation between 1990 and 2020 with a difference of 284,400 hectares in forestry loss.
- India’s deforestation rose from 384,000 hectares between 1990 and 2000 to 668,400 hectares between 2015 and 2020.
- However, India plans to restore 20 million hectares of its forest cover by 2030.
- As the country with the second largest population in the world, India has had to compensate for the increase in residents — this has come at a cost in the way of deforestation.
- Brazil, which ranked first with 1,695,700 ha of deforestation between 2015 and 2020, mostly lost the forests due to climate change. However, this is much lower than the 4,254,800 ha it lost between 1990 and 2000.
- Palm oil cultivation in Indonesia led to the destruction of 650,000 ha of forests, making it the third-highest loss in the world, right behind India.
- The study further revealed that cattle rearing was the leading cause of global deforestation, leading to a loss of 2,105,753 ha annually. This was followed by the cultivation of oil seeds that caused 950,609 ha of forestry loss.
- After cattle rearing for meat and oil seed cultivation, logging is the third highest factor responsible for deforestation, causing around 678,744 ha of annual deforestation globally.