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)