Seychelles 4th greenest country in the world | 14 September 2019
Seychelles is one of the greenest countries in the world with the fourth highest percentage of forest area.
According to data released by the World Bank in 2016 and published by Katharine Rooney on the World Economic Forum website this week, 88.4% of Seychelles’ land mass is covered by forest for the country to be ranked fourth worldwide.
Forest area is land under natural or planted stands of trees of at least five metres in situ, whether productive or not, and excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems (for example, in fruit plantations and agroforestry systems) and trees in urban parks and gardens.
Suriname is first among the 10 tree-covered countries with 98.3% followed by the Federated State of Micronesia (second with 91.9%) and Gabon (third with 90.0%). Palau is fifth with 87.6%, American Samoa sixth with 87.5%, Guyana seventh with 83.9%, Lao PDR eighth with 82.1%, Solomon Islands ninth with 77.9% and Papua New Guinea 10th with 74.1%.
An article on the World Economic Forum website writes that across the globe, there are deep pockets of green working as powerful lungs for all of us.
“Forests cover a third of the world’s land. They play a critical role in the ongoing battle against the impacts of climate change. They absorb harmful pollutants, regulate water flows, and support the habitats of migratory plants and animals,” writes the article.
But according to the World Bank, the world’s forests are under threat because since 1990, the planet has lost 1.3 million square kilometres of tree cover – an area larger than South Africa – to deforestation for forest and paper products and agriculture.
“When trees are destroyed, greenhouse gases pour into the atmosphere. In the Amazon, recent fires have released 228 megatonnes of carbon dioxide. Swathes of the rainforest are burning in Brazil, which has recorded the highest number of August fires since 2010. Protecting this essential resource and avoiding further deforestation could cut carbon dioxide emissions by as much as four billion tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking half the world's cars off the road,” according to the Tropical Forest Alliance, an initiative hosted by the World Economic Forum that works with governments and businesses to tackle the problem of deforestation.
What’s the World Economic Forum doing about deforestation?
The World Economic Forum argues that halting deforestation is essential to avoiding the worst effects of global climate change.
The destruction of forests creates almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as global road travel, and yet it continues at an alarming rate. In 2012, the World Economic Forum brought together more than 150 partners working in Latin America, West Africa, Central Africa and South-East Asia – to establish the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020: a global public-private partnership to facilitate investment in systemic change.
Made up of businesses, governments, civil society, indigenous people, communities and international organisations, the Alliance helps producers, traders and buyers of commodities often blamed for causing deforestation to achieve deforestation-free supply chains.