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FAO: World loses 70 mln hectares of forest in 15 years
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The world had lost more than 70 million hectares of forests from 1990 to 2005, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report released on Monday.

According to the report on the State of the World's Forests, most of the deforestation has taken place in South America, Africa and the Caribbean.

The FAO said the pace of deforestation in developing countries is unlikely to decline in the near future because high food and fuel prices will favor continued forest clearance for production of livestock and agricultural crops for food, feed and biofuel.

From 1990 to 2005 Latin America lost 64 million hectares of forests, some 7 percent of the world's total, the report said.

"In Africa, forest loss is likely to continue at current rates," said the report, stressing that "increasing frequency of droughts, declining water supplies and floods" will undermine efforts to manage African forests sustainably. Africa lost 8 million hectares of forest land from 1990 to 2005.

"In Asia and the Pacific, home to more than half of the world's population with some of the most densely populated countries in the world, demand for wood and wood products is expected to continue to increase in line with the growth in population and income," the report said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2009)

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