SPAIN has lost an area of forestry twice the size of Luxembourg in just over a decade.
According to a new global map on deforestation, the country has lost 690,815 hectares of tree cover from 2000-2012.
Global Forest Watch, a map which is monitoring deforestation in ‘real time’, claims that at least 448,188 hectares have been gained through reforestation and plantations in the same period.
The map uses information from millions of satellites as well as people on the ground to provide data on the loss and gain of tree cover.
Since 2000, 50 football pitches of trees have been cut down every minute around the globe. In 2012 alone some 20.8m hectares of forests were lost.
Despite increasing awareness of deforestation and its impacts, there has still been a distinct lack of accurate information.
“This map can help the government monitor public forests and better understand trends in forest loss, forestry practices, forest fires, and forest restoration,” said James Anderson, who works for the site.
“Just as importantly, Spanish businesses can help ensure the commodities they buy such as beef, palm oil, soy, and wood pulp are ‘deforestation-free’, by monitoring the activities of their suppliers.”
In Malaga Province, there has been more gain than loss in terms of tree cover since 2007 and this trend is visible throughout Spain.
Nigel Sizer, director of the global forest initiative, said: “Those behaving badly will have fewer places to hide.
Those managing forests well will stand out for all to applaud.”
For more information, visit: http://www.globalforestwatch.org/embed/country/ESP