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Project GreenHands - Facts and Figures

Field Stories
29 May, 2019
12:54 PM

Our planet is losing forest at the staggering rate of a football-pitch sized area every second. Six million hectares of primary forest are lost every year due to deforestation and modification through selective logging and other human interventions.

Facts and Figures

Did You Know?

  • Our planet is losing forest at the staggering rate of a football-pitch sized area every second.
  • Six million hectares of primary forest are lost every year due to deforestation and modification through selective logging and other human interventions. Only 20 per cent of the world’s forests remain in large intact areas.
  • Destruction of forests creates numerous environmental catastrophes, including altering local rainfall patterns, accelerating soil erosion, causing the flooding of rivers, and threatening millions of species of plants, animals and insects with extinction.
  • Tropical forests cover 23 per cent of the Earth's land surface, but they are disappearing at a rate of 4.6 million hectares a year. Asia leads losses with 2.2 million hectares a year, Latin America and the Caribbean together lose 1.9 million and Africa loses 470,000 hectares of rain forest every year.
  • The warmest 22 years ever recorded have happened within the last 25 years. The two warmest ever recorded, within the last three.
  • Trees include the largest and longest living organisms on earth. – UNEP
  • In one year, an average tree inhales 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of CO2 and exhales enough oxygen for a family of four for a year. – UNEP
  • One hectare of trees can absorb 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. - UNEP
  • A long haul flight will produce 3.75 tonnes of CO2 (or one tonne of carbon) - UNEP
  • Agroforestry programmes make trees more accessible and spread their benefits more widely. Trees on farms often yield more biomass. Nitrogen-fixing trees planted in shelterbelts or interspersed with crops can enhance soil fertility, increase soil moisture and reduce erosion. – UNEP
  • Trains as a mass transport system contribute the least to CO2 emission and consumption of fossils fuels – UNEP
  • Tamil Nadu has the unique distinction of having 2 bio sphere reserves, one in the Nilgiris and another in the Gulf of Mannar
  • Forest Green Cover in Tamil Nadu is 17.5% whereas the ideal level is 33%
  • The global temperature could raise by 6.4 degrees by the end of the century because of increased Green house gas emissions – IPCC, Jan 2007
  • Acceleration of sea level rise since 1993 has doubled to 3.1mm/year compare to the period between 1961 & 1993. Sea levels could increase by 0.59m by the end of the century. It will have an impact on 27 countries, including India, where millions live within 50km of the coast line as in the case of Mumbai and Chennai. – IPCC, Jan 2007
  • Simulation with regional climate model indicates that by the middle of the century powerful cyclones could arise more frequently along Indian coasts. – IPCC, Jan 2007
  • 466 glaciers in the Himalayas have shrunk by about 21% since 1961 - IPCC, Jan 2007
  • 80% of the existing forest in India are undergoing a change in the type of vegetation that will have a significant impact on the wildlife they supported. Many species of plant and animals could face extinction - IPCC, Jan 2007
  • India's emissions of carbon dioxide have increased by 88% since 1990 and could increase to 3,000 million tones by 2020 which would be twice the level of 2000 - IPCC, Jan 2007

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