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What is a Change in Forest Cover Indicator?

What is Change in Forest Cover? Forest cover refers to land that is mostly covered by trees. The Change in Forest Cover measures the percent change in forest-covered land from 2000 to 2012, including both gains and losses. EPI Target No Change Forest Cover Forest Cover Gain Loss including Reforestation (where there was forest) and Afforestation (where there was not forest) mostly due to Agricultural Expansion How do we know? Satellite images are used to quantify the area of forest cover. EPI data only includes forest cover area where the tree canopy covers more 5m than 50% of the surface. 4m Height Requirement 3m "Trees" are defined as all 1m forest cover over Om 5m tall Tree canopy covering 70% of the surface Used for EPI analysis Tree canopy covering 50% of the surface Not used for EPI analysis Tree canopy covering 20% of the surface Countries with less than 200 sq. km. of >50% tree cover in 2000 were not given a score for this category. These countries include: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, The Gambia, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Why does it matter? A reduction in the extent of forest cover has a range of negative impacts to the ecosystem: Climate Carbon Storage Water Supplies Biodiversity Regulation Richness 2,200 - 6,600 metric tons of CO, Between 2000 and 2012, 2.3 million sq. km. of tree cover was lost globally due to land conversion for agriculture, logging, fire, disease or storms. This was slightly offset by a gain of 800,000 sq km of new forest, meaning that the net loss was 1.5m sq. km. in total. total loss forest gain Deforestation accounts for 4 to 14% of global CO2 emissions 1.5 million sq. km. per year. Drivers of Deforestation 40% 25% 20% 10% 5% Cattle pasture Large-scale agriculture Small-holder Logging operations Other causes agriculture Best Improvement Largest Deforestation High Forest Loss Increase Brazil Indonesia Paraguay, Malaysia, and Cambodia Paraguay, Malaysia, and Cambodia also experienced high forest loss between 2000 and 2012. Brazil showed the best Indonesia had the largest increase in forest loss, doubling its annual loss to nearly 20,000 sq. km. per year from 2011 to 2012. improvement of any country, cutting annual forest loss in half from 2003 to 2011. Environmental References Performance "Addressing drivers of deforestation", United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), • "Deforestation Emissions", Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CGIAR ), • "Forest Definition and Extent", United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Index • M.C. Hansen, P.V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, et al. (2013). High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change. Science 15: 342 (6160), 850-853.

What is a Change in Forest Cover Indicator?

shared by EPI on Feb 17
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This infographic is from the 2014 Environmental Performance Index. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues in two broad policy ...


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