15 Facts About Climate Change & Deforestation
This Global Forest Watch interactive map shows tree cover loss since the year 2015 to 2019. Areas in red are those suffering the worst rates of deforestation. They are the areas where timber is being illegally harvested and used to make imported furniture. Along with trees, some of our favourite iconic wildlife species that live in the rainforest are being lost. For example, all the great cats (lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, etc) are critically endangered as are all the great apes (gorillas, chimps, orangutans, etc).
Our planet is actually losing over 100 unique species of plants and animals every day. The cause is habitat destruction. Rainforest trees are being clear-cut for timber to make cheap furniture and flooring. The US furniture and flooring markets are largely on blame. The global timber trade has been infiltrated to the point where illegal wood (often clear cut from the rainforest) is pervasive throughout the imported wood furniture and flooring industry. Much of it is accompanied by counterfeit documents labelling it as green certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). National Geographic published a report in 2014 on a UN study showing that the global environmental crime industry (with illegal logging being the primary component) has now surpassed the global drug trade in terms of estimated annual revenue.
Forests control water runoff, filter water, protect soil, cycle and store nutrients, and help regulate the climate. They’re a natural filtration system for our air and water. Although the United Kingdom is adding to internal forest growth, our country contributes to deforestation by importing wood and wood products, much of which comes from the Amazon and the Boreal rainforests by way of China and Russia.
Global Furniture & Flooring Statistics
• The environmental crime industry is worth an estimated ~$200B per year with illegal logging accounting for half of that worth.
• About 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are a byproduct of cargo ships used to transport goods like lumber, furniture, and flooring around the world. Rainforest Statistics
• More than half of the planet’s species live in the rainforest even though the rainforest only occupies about 2% of the earth’s surface
• The amazon rainforest alone accounts for 20% of all forest land in the world
• The amazon rainforest is the largest forest in the world and contains ¼ of all the freshwater on the planet
• The amazon rainforest alone holds 48 billion tons of carbon dioxide in its trees
• 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest by trees absorbing our carbon dioxide emissions and recycling them into oxygen. They’ve been dubbed the “lungs of our planet.”
• Although the earth’s rainforests cover less than 2% of its total surface area, they are home to 50 % of the Earth’s plant and animal species Deforestation Statistics
• Global rainforest destruction continues to proceed at a rate of >1 acre per second. 60 seconds every minute. 60 minutes every hour, 24/7/365.
• That’s over 4000 football fields every hour of every hour day, 365 days/year.
• 7% of all carbon emissions released into the atmosphere are a result of the destruction of the world’s forests
• About 20% of global warming is attributed to the destruction of the rainforest.
• Rainforest deforestation contributes as much to global warming as the sum of all the cars, trains and planes in the world
• Approximately 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation
• Deforestation is the second-largest human-caused source of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, second only to the consumption of fossil fuels. • The tropical forests, which are being rapidly cut down hold 228-247 gigatons of carbon.
• We may only have 10% of our rainforests left by 2030