Tracking Agricultural-Related Deforestation


At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, 10 of the world’s largest commodity traders published a ‘shared commitment’ to halting forest loss

The global trade in agricultural commodities provides food, fuel and fibre to consumers around the world. Commodity production, however, is also linked with negative environmental impacts, including the loss and degradation of forested land.

Approximately 90% of global deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion – a phenomenon which has roots in the global demand for products such as palm oil, soy and beef. New research reveals how satellites can be used to map and monitor forest-cover changes and help implement effective zero deforestation commitments.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that 23% of total human driven greenhouse gas emissions result from agriculture, forestry and other land uses. Therefore, protecting forests is essential to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Image via European Space Agency