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VILLA CROP

If a tree falls in the forest, will another replace it?

Of the roughly 3 million square kilometers of forest lost worldwide from 2001 to 2015, a new analysis suggests that 27 percent of that loss was permanent — the result of land being converted for industrial agriculture to meet global demand for products such as soy, timber, beef and palm oil.


Over the past decade-and-a-half, industrial agriculture has caused almost one-third of global forest loss–all of which is permanent, finds a new Science paper. It’s the first study to weigh up the impacts of different forest loss drivers, and while its findings are sobering, they could also go a long towards increasing transparency in the supply chains of major global foods.


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