The Australian government denies the extent of deforestation in the state of Queensland

This was the first big promise at the climate summit in Glasgow: more than a hundred countries have decided to stop deforestation by 2030. This is a big step because 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation. The plan was also signed by the Australian delegation.

But according to a new analysis commissioned by an Australian newspaper Defender There is uncertainty about the extent of deforestation in Australia. The state government records much less deforestation than the state of Queensland, where most trees are cut down. This means that deforestation is more common in Australia than previously thought.


Martin Taylor, a security policy lecturer at the University of Queensland, compared state government figures with those in Canberra. “I have found at least 53 places where the state claims deforestation has occurred, but the national government says the forest has not been affected,” Taylor said from his Brisbane office. “Of course this is weird. That’s why I took satellite photos, which clearly show that large areas of forest have disappeared. You can even see traces of bulldozers from space.”

Natural systems have been warning for years about large-scale tree felling in Australia. According to them, especially in the eastern part of the country, deforestation is as large as in the Amazon region and Borneo. As stated in it World Natural Fund Australia is the only developed country in the list of countries with the highest deforestation.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has responded cautiously to the Australian government’s intention to end deforestation. According to Thermode O’Corman, director of the WWF in Australia, much remains to be done. “At least 370,000 hectares of forest in Australia were destroyed by bulldozers in 2018”, Responds He. I.e. three-quarters of a million football fields. “Therefore this plan should be followed up expeditiously with concerted action.”

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Colas in danger

Trees cut down in Australia mainly lead to intensive animal husbandry. There are 24 million cows In Australia, almost equal to the population. In Queensland, 73 percent of deforestation is associated with livestock for beef production. This has implications for greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting down trees releases CO2 and cows release methane gas.

In addition, deforestation has major consequences for vulnerable animals that depend on this area. Colas are particularly hard hit by habitat loss. Cuttlefish, in general, require a relatively large eucalyptus forest for Australian animals to survive. One of the main reasons why the iconic critter is now declining is the loss of living space.

The number of colas has dropped by 30 percent in the last three years. In addition to deforestation, it is also linked to the catastrophic wildfires of two years ago. Millions of hectares of forest were set on fire, including three billion animals. In addition, large populations of colas have chlamydia, which makes them severely ill and infertile. According to Research According to the New South Wales State Government, Kola will be extinct before 2050 without major action.

Deceives countries

The national government has not yet responded to inquiries showing differences between the state of Queensland and government figures. According to researcher Taylor, the national measurement system is desirable. “This is a mystery to me. How can the government say the trees were cut down when the national government says the forest is still there? Then there is something seriously wrong with the Australian government’s model.”

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Australia is not the only country where computational methods are sometimes used creatively. Released this week Washington Post One study shows that many countries cheat to get the best results. According to researchers, there is a global gap of undisclosed emissions of at least 8.5 billion to 13.3 billion tons per year. That means the Earth is warming much faster than currently thought.

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