REPORT CLAIMS FORESTS FADING AT FASTER RATE--Washington (AP) 6/6/90
The earths tropical forests are vanishing 50 percent faster than previously
estimated, increasing concerns about global warming, a private
environmental research group said Thursday.
"Every year the world loses an area of tropical forests alost as big as
the state of Washington," said James Gustave Speth, president of World
The report by the Washinton based organization said data from
satellites and ground sensors, along with reports from individual
governments, indicate tat official estimates of tropical forest losses are
far too low.
The report suggested from an analysys of 1987 data that 40 million to
50 million acres of tropical forests may be stripped each year, compared to
the official estimate of about 28 million acres--based on the 1980
data--that still is used by the United Nations and many governments.
A study by a British scientist last year came to a conclusion similar to
the institutes' finding, said Ken Andrasko, senior foresry analyst for the
climate change office of the Environmental Protection Agency.
He said the "definitive answer to how much forest we're losing is
still not available" although the official finding by U.N. Food and
Agricultrure Organization next year are likely to ne close to the
Meanwhile, official esstimates on the extent of the deforestation
problem continue to be based on the 1980 data, which show that about 28
million acres of tropical forest are lost annually. The EPA in a draft
policy options paper on global warming last year, used the 1980 figures in
assessing deforestation. "Were talking about sparse (offical) data that is
credible," said Hammond. He said he considers the institutes findings