By 2024 the untouched pristine moist forests in their original condition will disappear from Ivory Coast; by 2040, they will be gone from Madagascar, Angola and India, if the current rates of deforestation and forest degradation are kept, according to a new map by the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world's forests

On 23 July 2019, the European Commission presented a set of actions to protect and restore the world's forests.

Among them, the European Commission announces establishing of an EU Observatory on deforestation, forest degradation and the changes in world’s forest cover.

The observatory will build on the already existing monitoring tools developed by the JRC.  

This observatory will monitor deforestation based on Earth observation data, in particular from the EU Copernicus Programme.

The objective of this is to facilitate the access to information on the supply chains to public entities, consumers and businesses.

It will also build on work related to the 2018 Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan to better understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy.

The observatory will contribute to the 8th Environmental Action Plan and the EU Forest Strategy – priority area: Forest from a global perspective.

It will also contribute to the EU Bioeconomy Action Plan, which foresees a pillar to understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy.

JRC work on deforestation monitoring

In the last 25 years, the JRC has been providing science-based policy support for forest related matters.

It has developed methods to monitor tropical and European deforestation and forest degradation, such as Forest Information System for Europe (FISE), the Regional Forest Observatories in Africa and Southeast Asia, or the Roadless-Forest Pilot Project.

The map, featured in the Communication, shows the forecasted year of disappearance of moist primary forests across the globe.

The projections are based on the ROADLESS-FOR map and the extrapolation of rates of disturbances (deforestation and degradation) observed during the last decade (2009-2018).

The EU Action Plan for protecting and restoring the World's forests also proposes to implement sustainable forest-based value chains and promote sustainable bioeconomies, according to the EU Bioeconomy Strategy.