Satellite mapping shows high tree cover loss in Russia and Canada

Satellite-based maps have shown northern boreal forests suffered significant tree cover loss in 2013, especially in Russia and Canada. The high-resolution maps have been released by Global Forest Watch, a partnership led by the World Resources Institute.

“This new data shows in detail how Russia and Canada have faced a massive spike in tree cover loss. These forests and soils contain vast carbon stocks so losses represent a significant contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change,” said Dr. Nigel Sizer, Global Director of WRI's Forests Program.

From 2011 to 2013, the tree cover loss of Russia and Canada represented a 34 percent at global level, with a combined average loss of 6.8 million hectares each year.

Russia and Canada were the two countries with highest average annual tree cover loss from 2011 to 2013, followed by Brazil, United States and Indonesia. Fires were the main cause for this development.