Running out of Wilderness

20% of the world’s forests are a football field away from the edge.


A new study of forest coverage has used data collected over 35 years to map the state of true wilderness on earth. The results are alarming.

Nearly 20% of the world’s remaining forest is only 100 meters away from a forest edge. That’s the length of a football field. And 70% of forest lands are within half a mile. In truth, very little forest can now be considered true wilderness.

Encroaching urban areas, agriculture, deforestation and roads are all causing habitat fragmentation, decreasing the biodiversity of the forests that remain.

In the study, the diversity of plants and animals was reduced by up to 75%. Some areas showed a 50% decline in plant and animal species over an average of just 20 years.

This means a loss in biodiversity and also reduces the amount of carbon being absorbed by the forest, which has a dramatic impact on our climate.

The obvious answer is to halt deforestation and try to maintain and increase the biodiversity left in the forest. Which is why Cool Earth is working with indigenous people who live right on the edge of forest destruction – protecting their forest and creating a shield for the vital and biodiverse wilderness behind.


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