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Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Imperiled Riches—Threatened Rainforests

Deforestation Defined



Deforestation refers to the loss of forest cover; land that is permanently converted from forest to agricultural land, golf courses, cattle pasture, homes, lakes, or desert. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.) defines tropical deforestation as "change of forest with depletion of tree crown cover to less than 10%." Depletion of forest to tree crown cover greater than 10% (say from 100% to 12%) is considered forest degradation. Logging most often falls under the category of forest degradation and thus is not included in deforestation statistics. Therefore forest degradation rates are considerably higher than deforestation rates. For example, according to satellite surveys Indonesia has considerable forest coverage, but millions of hectares are highly degraded by logging and no longer contain their full diversity or original structure.


Continued: Economic Restructuring


Other pages in this section:

A World Imperilled
Threats from Humankind
Economic Restructuring
Logging
Fires
Commercial Agriculture
Hydro, Pollution, Hunting
Debt
Consumption, Conclusion
- - - - -
References
References
References
References
References
Natural forces
Subsistence Activities
Oil Extraction
Mining
War
Cattle Pasture
Fuelwood, Roads, Climate
Population & Poverty

- - - - -
Kids version of this section
- Why are rainforests disappearing?
- Logging
- Agriculture
- Cattle
- Roads
- Poverty


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Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2015

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect,
an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region.
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"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.