Voice of America
Southeast Asia’s Lower Mekong region is set to lose a third of its natural forests in the next two decades, according to a report by the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Forestry experts blame the current pace of deforestation on governments’ undervaluing forestry resources.
The Worldwide Fund for Nature report, titled “Ecosystems in the Greater Mekong,” said between 1973 and 2009 lower Mekong countries chopped down almost a third of their forests for timber and to clear land for agriculture.
Burma and Laos lost 24 percent of their forest cover. Cambodia lost 22 percent of their forests, while Thailand and Vietnam cleared 43 percent of their trees.
“Core forests,” a three-kilometer square area of uninterrupted forest, have dropped from 70 to 20 percent of total forest area.