Skip to main content

Tree loss (areas of concern)

Forests are the most biologically diverse land ecosystems and are critical for sustaining local and global livelihoods. Deforestation can be considered a type of land degradation when forest ecosystems, with all of their important provisioning, regulating and cultural services, are exchanged for another land use, such as crop agriculture, with a narrow provisioning service focus. Damages to the land resource include the immediate reduction or loss of biomass productivity with a linked loss in habitat, biodiversity, and carbon stock. Clearance of natural forests accelerates soil erosion and the alteration of soil functioning. This layer displays the areas of concern for tree loss issues, derived from the convergence of global evidence of human-environment interactions that can have consequences on land degradation.

RCoE Action:

Cherlet, M., Hutchinson, C., Reynolds, J., Hill, J., Sommer, S., von Maltitz, G. (Eds.), World Atlas of Desertification, Publication Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018.


Concerns can be validated or dismissed only by evaluating them within their local biophysical, social, economic and political contexts. Local context provides an understanding of causes and consequences of degradation, but also offers guidance for efforts to control or reverse it.

Select for mapping