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Indonesia outpaces Brazil in forest loss

Indonesia is clearing more forest (pictured) each year than Brazil, with 40% of this loss occurring in areas in which clearing is restricted or banned.

Credit: AZWAR/EPA/Corbis

Belinda Margono at the University of Maryland in College Park and her colleagues analysed satellite images taken between 2000 and 2012 to quantify the loss of mature, natural Indonesian forest. Natural forest cover decreased by some 60,000 square kilometres during the study period, owing to, for example, the establishment of commercial plantations and the transition of natural to managed forests.

The results raise questions about the effectiveness of conservation programmes in the tropical country, the authors say.

Nature Clim. Change (2014)

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Indonesia outpaces Brazil in forest loss. Nature 511, 8 (2014).

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