Forest landscape investments

Explore deforestation

Deforestation in the region

Forests moisten our air and fill it with oxygen. They shelter countless species, anchor the soil, and retain our water. They deliver food, fuel, and medicine. They provide building material and balance the Earth’s carbon budget.

Despite these invaluable services, forests in Latin America — some of the most ecologically valuable ecosystems in the world — are on decline. Use the below link to Global Forest Watch to explore deforestation in real time and get inspired to reverse the trend.

Throughout the past decades, more than 40% (650 million hectares) of forests in Latin America have been deforested or degraded.

The drivers of this change include large-scale and small-scale agriculture, infrastructure development, and mining. As a result, and due to the clean energy matrix, the majority of carbon emissions in Latin America stem not from energy but from land use, land use change, and forestry.

Key deforestation facts

  • Greenhouse gas emissions

    In 2012, 49% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Latin America resulted from forestry, land-use change, and agriculture.

  • Tropical and southern forests

    Latin America accounts for about half of the world’s remaining tropical and southern temperate forests.

  • Agriculture expansion

    Agriculture in Latin America expanded onto an additional 36 million hectares since 2000. This expansion came at the expense of forests and natural landscapes.

  • GDP and employment

    Agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry together contribute 5 percent of the region’s GDP and about 14 percent of its employment, and up to 22 percent in El Salvador, Peru and Paraguay.

  • Productivity and food security

    Forest landscape investments can increase food productivity and security for an estimated 49 million under-nourished people in Latin America.