State of forest in the world

The forest area accounts to about 31% of the world’s land surface that makes it 4 billion hectares. Hard to imagine? Think of it as 1200 times the size of India. Big, right?

According to satellite data, tropical forests are being destroyed at a rate of about 8 million hectares (31,000 square miles) a year — an area equivalent in size to the state of South Carolina or the Czech Republic.

Nowhere in the world is the loss of the so-called primary forests advancing faster than in the tropics. The natural primary forests are compelled to give way to agriculture and livestock farming and, as a result of clearing, important habitats are lost. In addition, the carbon stored in the trees is released as CO2.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined Zoonotic diseases, as those diseases and infections, which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man, and infections that are shared between vertebrates and man. The zoonotic diseases include viral, bacterial, rickettsial, protozoal, helminthes, fungal, and ectoparasites. According to the WHO, zoonotic diseases in South East Asia are grouped as endemic, re-emerging, and emerging diseases with epidemic potential.

The risk factors precipitating the occurrence of emerging zoonotic diseases are many, and are in a state of continuous evolution. This evolution moves alongside the changing societal and demographic patterns across the country. The development projects are also found to influence disease spread patterns world over.

Over the past 4,000 years, China’s forest cover has shrunk dramatically. The Loess Plateau region of north-central China, for example, has gone from 53% to 8% forested in that period. Much of the loss in the first half of that time span was due to a gradual shift to a drier climate, a change unrelated to human activity. Over the past two thousand years, and particularly since the 1300s CE, however, humans have consumed ever-increasing amounts of China’s trees.

Your power as a consumer is vital to stopping deforestation. Just like any business, if there’s no demand then the supply will be lessened. Fortunately, there are environmentally and forest friendly businesses that are helping to stop deforestation. They need your support. Let’s encourage their efforts by patronizing their products.

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