Forest Degradation

Partial and gradual elimination of forest vegetation, usually associated with selective extraction of wood and other natural resources.

Degradation is the gradual loss of native vegetation linked to legalized or criminal economic activities such as selective logging or gold and diamond mining. Even though it appears to be less harmful to natural environments, forest degradation must be monitored and combated, as it usually precedes clear-cutting, burning, and other, more destructive techniques. An article published in the journal PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences pointed out that forest degradation is the main source of greenhouse gas emission, often affecting indigenous lands and other protected areas in the Amazon. Furthermore, between 2007 and 2016 an average of 11,000 km2 of forest degradation was detected per year. This is equivalent to twice the annual average area of clear-cut deforestation during the same period.

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