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Papua New Guinea's rainforest may be gone in 13 years

2008.06.27 Hisayo Takada

From the analysis of satellite photographs of rainforests across Papua New Guinea from the past 30 years, researchers have come to the conclusion that if rapid destruction should continue as it has done in the past, 83% of the forest accessible to man (or 53% of the total forests area) would be destroyed or seriously damaged by the year 2021.

According to the research report created by the University of Papua New Guinea and Australian National University, in 1972 rainforests covered 82% (38 million hectares) of land in Papua New Guinea, but in the photographs taken in 2002, this had decreased to 71% (33 million hectares) due to logging for timber export , etc. This means that in just 30 years 15% (5 million hectares) of rainforests disappeared.

Six to seven percent of the world's species of plants and animals live in the bountiful forests of Papua New Guinea. This is the first clear evidence of such ongoing destruction and the nation's Minister of Forests, Belden Namah states that "Over the past decades we have imagined that our forests are limitless. If this report is the bitter pill that we need to swallow to ensure that we maintain our forests into the foreseeable future, so be it. "

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Papua New Guinea (Asia/Oceania

Hisayo Takada

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