According to a report, around 4.1 million hectares of tropical jungle were destroyed worldwide in the past year. This means that forest with an area of ​​​​Switzerland has been lost, to a lesser extent due to fires, but mainly due to other reasons such as deforestation.

The equivalent of 11 football fields of trees disappearing every minute, according to a new calculation by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington published on Tuesday.

According to the report, the total area of ​​tropical jungle destroyed within a year was only larger in 2016, 2017 and 2020 over the past 20 years. Last year, ten percent more tropical jungle was destroyed than in 2021, when it was around 3.75 million hectares.

Changes observed via satellite technology

The tropical forests in Brazil and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to be particularly badly affected. Forest loss has increased most in Ghana, Bolivia and Angola. Indonesia and Malaysia, among others, could have kept the loss of their forests at a low level.

With the help of the Global Forest Watch platform, numerous nature conservation organizations under the leadership of the WRI have been observing changes in forest landscapes worldwide since 2014, using satellite technology, among other things. The WRI compiled the report based on this every year together with researchers from the University of Maryland.

Primeval forest, i.e. natural forest largely untouched by humans, is of great importance for the preservation of biodiversity and is particularly important for the storage of carbon dioxide – CO2 for short. The authors of the study calculated that the area destroyed in 2022 released 2.7 billion tons of CO2. This roughly corresponds to the annual emissions from fossil fuels in India.