The Palm Scribe

Commodities behind the highest rate of deforestation in tropical forests

There are four commodities topping the list as the main culprit behind the deforestation of tropical forests: beef, soybean, palm oil and wood, and timber product. 
  • Beef causes twice as much deforestation than the three other commodities combined.
  • Cattle ranches are the largest contributor to glasshouse emissions compared to the three other commodities.
  • Soybean is responsible for the opening of around 480,000 hectares of forests in the main producing countries.
  • Oil palm plantation opens up around 270,000 hectares of forests in the three top producing countries of this commodity.
  • Because most of the forest opened for oil palm plantations are in peat areas, they cause the heavy release of carbon into the atmosphere, making the commodity the second-largest glasshouse gas emitter after cattle ranching.
  • Timber production causes the deforestation of at least 380,000 hectares of forest in the main producing countries.
 (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists)
Share This