The World Lost Two Portugals’ Worth of Forest Last Year

The demand for beef, soy, and food made with palm oil is driving the devastation contributing to climate change and disappearance of wildlife.

The planet last year lost enough forest to cover Portugal. Twice. An insatiable hunger for tofu, cookies, steak, and tires is fueling the devastation that resulted in the disappearance of 45 million acres of trees in 2014, according to a study released Wednesday.

Researchers at Global Forest Watch, a monitoring network started by the World Resources Institute, found that more than half of the loss occurred in highly biodiverse tropical forests in West Africa, the Congo Basin, Madagascar, the Greater Mekong region, Paraguay, Uruguay, and other regions of South America.

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