COP26 Progress – Reversing Deforestation

COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference began on October 31 and will conclude on November 12.  An early, positive result from the Glasgow, Scotland conference is the promise from more than 100 world leaders to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.  This pledge includes the creation of a public-private fund of more than US $19 billion to support these efforts.

Slash and burn near the Brazil Border in Southeastern Venezuela. Photo: IPS/UIG

Deforestation, the intentional and permanent clearing of trees for other purposes, has been occurring at alarming rates during the past thirty years.  According to the World Bank, between 1990 and 2016, more than 502,000 square miles of forest, an area larger than the country of South Africa, have been felled worldwide.

Satellite view of deforestation in East Rondonia, Brazil in 1986 and 2001. This before and after image shows deforestation impact over the years. Photo: Planet Observer/UIG

Forests are typically cleared for other uses, such as farming, livestock grazing, mining, and drilling.  Wildfires and the growth of urban areas also contribute to the reasons why forests are cleared.

A large part of the Amazon is destroyed and transferred into farmland. Photo: Ton Koene/VWPics/UIG
Clear-felled tropical rainforest, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan, Indonesia

There will hopefully be more important declarations to come from COP26.  For more information on the conference, and to follow its progress, please visit

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Sources: by Georgina Rennard and Francesca Gillett Deforestation Explained by Christina Nunez

Pimm, Stuart L.. “deforestation”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 Mar. 2020, Accessed 2 November 2021.

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