A Quick Look at Rainforest Deforestation

(Illustration by Bhabna Banerjee / Information courtesy of Reuters, Rainforest Foundation Norway)

Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) collected the data through forest monitoring program Global Forest Watch, and the full report can be viewed here.


  1. Only 36% of the planet’s 14.6 million square kilometres of tropical rainforests are currently intact. Out of the two-thirds lost, logging and land-use has destroyed 34% of original old-growths and degraded another 30% of tropical rainforests globally.
  1. Degraded forests (around 30% of the destruction) are defined as original forests that were partially or fully destroyed and have since been replaced by secondary forest growth.
  1. Over 50% of the destruction since 2002 has been in the Amazon and neighbouring rainforests. Brazilian forest loss also hit a 12-year high in 2020.
  1. Southeast Asian islands, mostly covering Indonesia, rank second in forest destruction since 2002 with most of its forests cleared for palm oil plantations. 
  1. Between 2002 and 2009, deforestation around the world played a role in the loss of tropical rainforests larger than the size of France, and the size of Belgium every year in between.

About the Author

By Bhabna Banerjee

Former Editor

Bhabna is an illustrator, designer, and commercial artist from Toronto, Canada. She has a bachelor’s degree in Media Production with a minor in Graphic Design from York University, and works as a multimedia designer for creative agencies and publications based in Canada. Bhabna is passionate about visual storytelling and incorporates this into her illustrations. Beyond that, she loves to dabble in videography, set design, and any new mediums of art she can get her hands on.

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