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Forest Map References

Background - 21 March, 2006

"We are destroying the world’s precious ancient forests at an unprecedented rate. An area of natural forest the size of a football pitch is cut down every two seconds."

Estimation based on: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UnitedNations (FAO 2005), Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 (FAO, Rome,Italy).

One football pitch every two seconds equals an annual loss ofnatural forests of approximately 100,000 square kilometres. FAOassesses the total annual loss of forest of 130,000 square kilometresof which at least 60,000 square kilometres are losses of primary(ancient) forests.

Greenpeace estimates the real figure to be higherbecause countries with significant loss of primary forest like Canada,Cameroon, Central African Republic or Democratic Republic of Congo didnot report this loss.

"A quarter of the forest lost in the last 10,000 years has been destroyed in the last 30 years."

Adapted from: McNeill, J.R. (2000). Something new under the sun - Anenvironmental history of the twentieth century world. Norton, New York,USA, 421.

"The current extinction rate of plant and animal species is around 1,000 times faster than it was in pre-human times – and this will increase to 10,000 times faster by 2050."

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being:Biodiversity Synthesis. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.

"Scientists predict that the Earth is entering the sixth major extinction event in its history."

Thomas, J.A., Telfer, M.G., Roy, D.B., Preston, C.D., Greenwood, J.J.D., Asher, J., Fox, R., Clarke, R.T. & Lawton J.H. 2004. Comparative losses of British butterflies, birds, and plants and the global extinction crisis. Science, 303, 1879-1881.

"Until now, world maps have not been sufficiently accurate or consistent to reveal which forest areas remain intact, which have been damaged and to what extent. This has made it difficult to see which forest areas are most in need of protection. Greenpeace has created a new map of the world’s forests, based on the most up to date, high-resolution satellite imagery and a consistent set of criteria."

For a detailed list of all results per country, forest region andglobally as well as for a list of peer reviewers

"In the tropics alone, over 5 million square kilometres of forest have been degraded by destructive logging and a further 3.5 million square kilometres has been totally deforested during the last few decades."

International Tropical Timber organisation (ITTO 2002), Guidelines forthe Restoration, Management and Rehabilitation of Degraded andSecondary Tropical Forests (ITTO, Yokohama, Japan).