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Global annual forest area net change, by decade, 1990–2020[174]

Africa had the largest annual rate

Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 million ha, followed by South America, at 2.6 million ha. The rate of net forest loss has increased in Africa in each of the three decades since 1990. It has declined substantially in South America, however, to about half the rate in 2010–2020 compared with 2000–2010. Asia had the highest net gain of forest area in 2010–2020, followed by Oceania and Europe. Nevertheless, both Europe and Asia recorded substantially lower rates of net gain in 2010–2020 than in 2000–2010. Oceania experienced net losses of forest area in the decades 1990–2000 and 2000–2010.[6]

Some claim that rainforests are being destroyed at an ever-quickening pace.[175] The London-based Rainforest Foundation notes that "the UN figure is based on a definition of forest as being an area with as little as 10% actual tree cover, which would therefore include areas that are actually savanna-like ecosystems and badly damaged forests".[176] Other critics of the FAO data point out that they do not distinguish between forest types,[177] and that they are based largely on reporting from forestry departments of individual countries,[178] which do not take into account unofficial activities like illegal logging.[179] Despite these uncertainties, there is agreement that destruction of rainforests remains a significant environmental problem.

Methods of analysis

Some have argued that defore

Some claim that rainforests are being destroyed at an ever-quickening pace.[175] The London-based Rainforest Foundation notes that "the UN figure is based on a definition of forest as being an area with as little as 10% actual tree cover, which would therefore include areas that are actually savanna-like ecosystems and badly damaged forests".[176] Other critics of the FAO data point out that they do not distinguish between forest types,[177] and that they are based largely on reporting from forestry departments of individual countries,[178] which do not take into account unofficial activities like illegal logging.[179] Despite these uncertainties, there is agreement that destruction of rainforests remains a significant environmental problem.

Some have argued that deforestation trends may follow a Kuznets curve,[180] which if true would nonetheless fail to eliminate the risk of irreversible loss of non-economic forest values (for example, the extinction of species).[181][182]

Some cartographers have attempted to illustrate the sheer scale of deforestation by c

Some cartographers have attempted to illustrate the sheer scale of deforestation by country using a cartogram.[183]