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Which countries have gained and lost the most trees since 1990?

Which countries have gained and lost the most trees since 1990?

By Jaime Ripa

According to FAO records, collected in the World Bank's open database, the map indicates the percentage of gain or loss of forest area in the countries of the world since 1990. The organization excludes production systems from its definition. agriculture (such as a fruit plantation) and trees in urban parks and gardens.

Deforestation continues to be the prevailing trend. The global forest area has decreased by 3% (about 130 million hectares) in the last 25 years. It has done so, of course, at a much lower rate: the net rate of tree loss has gone from seven million hectares per year to three million in that period, according to the report.State of the world's forests from FAO.


Information extracted from the open database of the World Bank

The purchasing power of nations, according to the data, is closely related to forest conservation. The most developed countries added more than three million new forest area between 2000 and 2010; the few, by contrast, lost more than two million.

Spain has gained 33% of forest area since 1990, going from 13.8 million hectares to 18.4 million. 37% covered with trees, the country ranks third in the continent in growth after Ireland (62%) and exceptions such as Iceland, which has doubled its green area but only represents 0.5% of the territory, a phenomenon that is replicated in other countries such as Bahrain (172%). The national increase is mainly due to repopulation, the exodus from rural lands and the natural expansion of mountainous vegetation.

In absolute terms, Finland, with 83% of forests, most of them sustainable, is the first European country in the ranking of the greenest in the world, encompassing small tropical islands in South America and the Caribbean, some African nations and countries in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

Without any forest there are five countries: San Marino, Qatar, Greenland, Oman and Nauru. Excluding them, these are the ten least green:

The tropical regions are those that have been affected the hardest. Around seven million hectares are lost in them every year. The need for space for agricultural land places African countries such as Togo (-73%), Nigeria (-70%) and Uganda (-56%) among the most devastated, in addition to nations such as Honduras (-44%), Nicaragua ( -31%) or El Salvador (-30%). In Brazil, where about 2.5 million hectares are lost annually, the total area has decreased by 10%. On the other hand, Uruguay stands out, a country where 131% of the forest mass has been gained and where 80% have sustainability certification.

Other causes, such as massive commercial agriculture, are responsible for 40% of global deforestation, a figure that reaches 70% in Latin America. Urbanization, mining and infrastructure construction are distributed another 30%.

The country


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