Global deforestation continues. But not in China. October 20, 2016 – Posted in: analyses, posts

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Forestation of China is an ambitious project which is an answer to rapacious forest management and a decrease in the forest area of the South America and Africa, the World Bank reports.

The total forest area is 40 024 415 km². The average woodland (applied to land area) amounts to 31%, and per capita, it is 0, 60 ha of forest, i.e. around 2,5 times more than in Poland. Since 1990 the forest area decreased by 1 million 258 thousands km². It means that the forests diminished at the speed of 50 thousand km² per year.

If this process had taken place in Poland, after two years, there would have been no forests at all. The wood is harvested for energy and fuel (around 55%). The highest wood consumption is observed in Central America (93%), Africa (89%), Asia (76%) and in South America (52%). The wood logging is lower in more developed regions, and it amounts to 15% in North America, 23% in Europe and the Pacific Islands. The annual timber harvesting totals over 3, 4 billion m³ and regarding specific continents it is 29,3% in Asia, 20,2% in Africa, 19,3% in Europe and Russia, 17,9% in North and Central America, 11,3% in South America and 2,0% at the Pacific Islands. The deforestation is the highest in South America (loss of over 940 thousand km² since 1990) and Africa (fall of over 700 thousand km² since 1990). The largest contributors to deforestation are Brazil (decrease of over 500 thousand km² since 1990) and Indonesia (the downfall of 260 thousand km² since 1990).

In this particular situation, China proves to be the protector of forests where forestation increased to almost 500 thousand km2 since 1990. As a result, the forests of China grew of over one-third from 1, 5 million square kilometres to over 2 million square kilometres.

Is anything particular in this field in Poland where forestation amounts to 100 thousand square kilometres? Very few people know that Polish forests are the best in Europe and they are among the best in the world in case of so-called timber reserve that is measured in m3 of timber over the area of one hectare of forest. The wood reserve totals up to 254 m3/ha. To compare, the timber reserve in Russia amounts to 100 m3/ha, and an average of Europe (without Russia) amounts to 154 m3/ha.

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