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Carbon emissions from forests down by 25% between 2001-2015

Total carbon emissions from forests decreased by more than 25 percent between 2001 and 2015, mainly due to a slowdown in global deforestation rates, according to new estimates published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today.  

Global emissions from deforestation dropped from 3.9 to 2.9 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year over the period of 2001-2015. Deforestation is defined as a land-use change, from forest to other land uses.

"It is encouraging to see that net deforestation is decreasing and that some countries in all regions are showing impressive progress. Among others, they include Brazil, Chile, China, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Turkey, Uruguay, and Viet Nam," said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva. "I urge all those countries to share their successful experiences with other countries. Through South-South Cooperation programme, FAO is ready to facilitate this collaboration and knowledge exchange."

FAO emphasized at the same time that despite the overall reduction in carbon emissions from forests linked to less deforestation, emissions from forest degradation have significantly increased between 1990 and 2015, from 0.4 to 1.0 Gt CO2 per year. Forest degradation is a reduction in tree biomass density from human or natural causes such as logging, fire, windthrows and other events.