It has been estimated that the world's remaining forests are disappearing at an annual rate of more than 32 million acres.
The world's largest rainforest – the Amazon rainforests is in great danger because of the ever-increasing production of soybean and biofuel crops in Brazil which accounts for higher deforestation rates.
According to researchers from the Stony Brook University cocaine production in Colombia is having increased impact on country's deforestation rates because cultivating coca bushes is speeding up destruction of rainforests.
Increased export of Brazilian beef is one of the main reasons for excessive deforestation in the Amazon. It has been estimated that 60-70 per cent of the deforested land is used for cattle ranching mainly by farmers establishing small-scale farms.
The forests absorb approximately one third of fossil fuel emissions (approximately 2.4 billion tonnes of carbon per year from the atmosphere) which means that global deforestation must be stopped in order to have a decent chance to tackle climate change.
The deforestation in Amazon is far more than a regional problem, it is a global issue because Amazon rainforest makes up a key part of Earth's hydrological and climatological system and has a significant impact on global climate.
The deforestation rates in Amazon have been steadily decreasing over the last 6 years, in fact according to the UK scientists the global CO2 emissions from deforestation have decreased by over 25% since 2000 compared to the 1990s levels, mostly because of reduced CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation. Still, deforestation and forest degradation currently accounts for 15 to 20 percent of global carbon emissions
Deforestation has the potential to alter evaporation patterns in a region, potentially affecting water resources in distant regions. This is because forest floors are mainly responsible for evaporation in forests. Removal of forests does not only reduce the evaporation from the trees, but also reduces the evaporation from the forest floor. The result of this is a local decrease of evaporation which can lead to serious consequences for rainfall, water resources and even global food security.
In order to successfully tackle deforestation at global level world needs international bodies that would among other things ensure adequate forest monitoring and enable internationally managed deforestation in order to minimize the environmental damage caused by converting forests to agriculture.
Deforestation could become one of the key factors in global biodiversity loss because most of our planet's terrestrial biodiversity is contained in tropical rainforests.