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Fact of the week



13 million: The number of hectares of land deforested in 2005

Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Target: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources

Deforestation, primarily the conversion of forests to agricultural land, continues at an alarmingly high rate – about 13 million hectares per year. Forest planting, landscape restoration and natural expansion of forests have significantly reduced the net loss of forest area. However, these newly replanted lands do not have the ecological value of older, more biologically diverse forests, and do not provide the same benefits and livelihoods for local communities. The net decrease in forest area over the period
2000-2005 is about 7.3 million hectares per year (an area about the size of Sierra Leone or Panama), down from 8.9 million hectares per year from 1990 to 2000. Still, the current net loss is equivalent to about 200 square kilometres per day.

Source: UN DESA, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006, New York, June 2006.



About DevInfo

These facts were developed using DevInfo, a software tool for monitoring human development. DevInfo allows the sharing of data across government departments and UN agencies using the same system, and was adapted from UNICEF’s ChildInfo software.

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