New Delhi: Destroyed primary rainforests released as much CO2 as overall fossil fuel emissions of India in 2021, a new report said on Tuesday (September 20) while flagging that deforestation claims an area close to the size of Greece every year. “Deforestation is responsible for nearly 15 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Every year, 10 million hectares of tropical forest are lost and if we do not halt this by 2030, it will be impossible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celcius,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) report said.
It also said the private sector has a key role to play in preserving the world’s forests while ridding their own supply chains of deforestation.
Eron Bloomgarden, Founder and CEO of Emergent, a non-profit intermediary acting between tropical forest countries and the private sector, said,
The urgent priority is protecting tropical forests, even above planting new trees (which is also important), because the world loses tropical forests at the rate of 10 million hectares per year -– equivalent to about one Central Park of New York every 15 minutes.
“We need billions of dollars of investment in climate finance to protect the world’s forests. We are working on initiatives like the LEAF Coalition and Green Gigaton Challenge as we believe jurisdictional-scale action is the way to do this,” Mr Bloomgarden added.
The LEAF Coalition (Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance) is the largest-ever public private partnership dedicated to halting tropical deforestation, bringing together global corporations and sovereign donors. It has generated over USD 1 billion of funding so far to protect tropical forests.
Since 2002, more than 60 million hectares of primary forests have been lost in the tropics, equivalent to an area the size of France, the WEF said.
The vast majority of tropical deforestation -– more than 80 per cent of it -– occurs in landscapes where agriculture is the dominant driver.
In 2021 alone, 11.1 million hectares of tree cover were lost. Of this, 3.75 million hectares were tropical primary rainforests, and the loss resulted in 2.5 gigatons of CO2 emissions — equivalent to the annual fossil fuel emissions of India, it added.
The cost estimates to save sufficient forests to keep the planet on a 1.5 degrees celsius pathway range from USD 100 billion to USD 390 billion a year.
As per estimates, more than half of global GDP — around USD 44 trillion of economic value — is moderately or highly dependent on nature. Almost 1.6 billion people depend on forests for food, water, wood and employment.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.