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Explore the data
Deforestation: Seeing the wood for the trees

Below you'll find some charts that are used in the Deforestation: Seeing the wood for the trees of Not the End of the World. Many of these charts are interactive so that you can explore this data over different periods, and for most countries in the world.

First, I'll list some best data sources that I used when writing this chapter, and go back to for the most recent updates. They're some of the core datasets that we use on Our World in Data. This is not an exhaustive list – there are lots of others doing great work in this area. In particular, these are data sources that update over time, so they're not static or specific to a single year. That means you can track progress in the future.

Where to go to explore more:

Explore the Data

Here are some interactive versions of charts used in the book. I've also left some notes on the underlying data source, where you can explore the methodology and related metrics.

If you are using any of this data or the charts, please make sure to credit the underlying source (not me).

Forest area and change over time

The charts below show the area of countries that are forested. For a few countries, we have long-term data; for most, this data runs from 1990 onwards.

Source: The data source from 1990 onwards is the UN FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment. Pre-1990 data comes from various country-specific sources.

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Brazilian Amazon Deforestation

The chart below shows rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

Source: The data source is PRODES, from INPE, the Brazilian Space Agency.

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Palm oil production and land use

The chart below shows palm oil production by country. Malaysia and Indonesia dominate global production, and have experienced deforestation as a result.

The second chart shows the amount of land used for vegetable oils. You can see that palm oil makes up a small amount of this land, despite being the crop that produces the most oil globally. This is because it gets very high yields.

Source: The data source is the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

Land use of different food products

The chart below shows the land use of different food items, per kilogram. This is the global average in a large meta-study. There can still be large differences among products e.g. the land use of grain-fed beef is much lower than pasture-fed beef on very low-intensity grazing land.

This comparison is also available per 100 grams of protein, and per 1000 kilocalories.

Source: The data source is a meta-analysis published in Science by Joseph Poore and Thomas Nemecek (2018).

Explore more on this topic at Our World in Data.

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