Deforestation decreases – Congo

Did you know, the Congo Basin is the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon.

Tree loss in one of the world’s largest rainforests has slowed, a study suggests.

Satellite images of Africa’s Congo Basin reveal that deforestation has fallen by about a third since 2000. Researchers believe this is partly because of a focus on mining and oil rather than commercial agriculture, where swathes of forest are cleared.

 Congo forests - Global Travel Alliances SADr Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds and University College London, said: “Most of the focus has been on the Amazon and on South East Asian tropical rainforests, and a big bit of the missing picture is what is going on the Congo Basin in Central Africa.

Bigger trees
Sprawling across the heart of Africa, the Congo Basin rainforest is second only to the Amazon in size. It covers nearly 2 million sq km (800,000 sq miles).

The latest study reveals that it is in far better health than expected.

Images taken from space allowed researchers to track how the dense foliage was changing over time.

Deforestation of Rainforests are sometimes cleared to make way for large-scale commercial agriculture in the regions.

They have found that during the 1990s nearly 3,000 sq km (1,000 sq miles) of forest were being felled each year, but from 2000 to 2010, the rate of deforestation had slowed. Fewer than 2,000 sq km (700 sq miles) of rainforest were lost each year.
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