Ranching biggest cause of Mexican deforestation


Mexico's deforestation study covered seven ecoregions. Source: Conafor

Mexico lost an average of 212,070 hectares (818 square miles) of forest per year during 2001-18, due mainly to the conversion of woodland to pasture for ranching and farming, says a recent study by the country’s National Forestry Commission (Conafor). The Conafor study, launched in 2018 and published in October of this year, offers the most detailed and comprehensive inventory of Mexico’s forest vegetation to date. It drew on data and mapping from a multitude of government and non-governmental organizations dating back to 2000, dividing Mexico’s entire 195,600,000 hectares (483,300,000 acres) of national territory into 26,200 sections and seven ecoregions for study. The agency attributes 20% of the deforestation to expanded cultivation of crops including sugarcane, corn, soy, coffee and palm oil, and about 3% to the construction of infrastructure and other development. But it says that by far the largest cause of the country’s deforestation is the clearing... [Log in to read more]

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