The Domino Effects of Tropical Deforestation

This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by The LEAF Coalition

The Domino Effects of Tropical Deforestation

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), we lose over 10 million hectares of forests every single year. That’s the same as losing an area the size of New York’s Central Park every 18 minutes.

In this graphic from our sponsor LEAF Coalition, we take a look at the drastic knock-on effects of tropical deforestation: from significant greenhouse gas emissions and irreversible loss in biodiversity to the impact on the lives of Indigenous Peoples.

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector

When looking at how greenhouse gas emissions break down by sector, the agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) sector is responsible for nearly 15% of global emissions.

Moreover, global models estimate that net emissions from land use and land use change are mostly as a result of deforestation.

Sector% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2019
Energy: Electricity & Heat31.8%
Agriculture, Forestry, & Other Land Use14.9%
Energy: Transport14.3%
Energy: Manufacturing & Construction12.7%
Energy: Fugitive Emissions6.8%
Energy: Buildings6.2%
Industrial Processes6.1%
Energy: International Bunker2.6%
Energy: Other Fuel Combustion1.2%

From 2002-2015, a handful of commodities were responsible for 55% of all agriculture-linked deforestation. These include: