Colombia lost 140,356 hectares of forest in 2014, 16% more than the year before, according to the South American country’s meteorological institute IDEAM.
The main causes of the increased deforestation are illegal mining and lumbering, the removal of forest to produce agricultural plots, coca cultivation and forest fires, the IDEAM said.
Almost half of the deforestation, 45%, took place in the southern Amazon region in spite of a decrease in the deforestation rate in the area.
The provinces that saw most deforestation were the Amazonian Caqueta province that lost 29,245 hectares, the northwestern Antioquia province (21,032 hectares), Meta (13,727 hectares), Putumayo (11,106) and Choco (10,353).
The provinces where the deforestation rate was highest were the Putumayo and Norte de Santander provinces, both important coca growing areas.
Deforestation rates in Colombia
The deforestation in the Amazon region is not unique to Colombia; According to a recent study published in the Science Advances journal said that more than half of the tree species in the Amazon, the globe’s largest rain forest, is facing extinction.
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