Deforestation hot spots in Brazil and Congo
Deforestation hot spots in Brazil and Congo


Global Forest Watch reported in February 7 that deforestation still is an issue. By combining data during 2000 and 2014 with ESRI hot spot analyses and big data processing they could analyse the situation. In Brazil are some positive effects noted but the problem has moved to other parts of the country. The situation in the Democratic republic of Congo is problematic. In Indonesia deforestation still is an issue, even though the announced forest moratorium.

Situation in Brazil improving
Between 2000 and 2014, Brazil lost an average of 2.7 million hectares of forest per year, but the rate of loss has declined significantly since 2004. This drop in deforestation rates reflects policies enacted by the government in the early 2000s to curb deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

One could say that Brazil’s anti-deforestation policies were successful based on these results, but they’re also having an unintended consequence. Loss has shifted towards the unprotected Cerrado biome, made up of savanna forest and grasslands. The Cerrado is currently threatened by many of the deforestation drivers that once dominated the Amazon, including soy production, cattle ranching and charcoal production.

Democratic Republic of the Congo – problems do continue.
Unlike Brazil, which has been heavily influenced by anti-deforestation policies for more than a decade, emerging hot spot analysis results for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reflect the country’s poor enforcement of its environmental regulations. From 2000 to 2014, DRC lost an average of 0.57 million hectares of forest per year, and the rate of forest loss between 2011 and 2014 increased by a factor of 2.5.

Deforestation hot spots in Indonesia
Deforestation hot spots in Indonesia

Indonesia – New deforestation despite forest moratorium
Indonesia lost about 1.3 million hectares of forest annually between 2000 and 2014, with nearly 40 percent of loss occurring in primary forests. Kalimantan and Sumatra, the two Indonesian islands with the largest forest area and the focus of this analysis, show no diminishing hot spots and vast areas of new hot spots, indicating that efforts at limiting deforestation such as the forest moratorium established in 2011 have so far showed little to no effect in preventing significant new areas of forest clearing.

Maps from World Resources institute

source: Ljungblom