Forests are the planet's largest and most important ecosystems. They exert a profound influence on the structure and function of the human habitat locally and globally -- providing more than environmental and material services. In short, they help conserve the human habitat. Unfortunately, in the post-industrialisation period humans have failed miserably to live in tune with nature. Increasing population pressures, urbanisation, and logging activities have caused damage from which forests may never recover.
How green is my continent ?
|Deforestation is highest in the tropical zones, except in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)|
|Region||Reduction in forest cover during the past 8,000 years (all forests)* (%)||Reduction in forest cover during the past 8,000 years (intact closed forests) (%)||Annual rates of deforestation 1990-1995 (%)|
|Asia1||70||95||high,especially in tropics|
|Oceania||40||80||high,especially in tropics|
|Africa||50||90||high,especially in tropics moderate in non-tropics|
|Latin America||402||603||high in tropics very high in Central America|
|North America||253||552||high in tropics, insignificant in non-tropics|