Environmental resources differ from financial, human, and capital resources in a significant way – they are exhaustible. And given the ever growing dependence on natural resources, this is an area that developing countries take seriously.
What have governments worldwide done to make certain that natural resources are protected?
How are they ensuring that their progress is sustainable and not just a windfall gain?
To answer these and other related questions, let's turn our attention to the Little Green Data Book 2014 (PDF), which draws from the World Development Indicators 2014 Environment section.
The global decline in forest cover
Forests cover about one-third of all land worldwide. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Earth's forest area was about 50 million square kilometers. This has since shrunk to about 40 million square kilometers. Most of this decline was caused by the growing demand for forest and paper products, as well as for agricultural land use.
June 5 is the United Nation's World Environment Day, a day to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment.
Forest area is defined as land spanning more than 0.005 square kilometers with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10% or with trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. In some places, forest area has slightly expanded, either through planting or natural processes. As a result, the global average annual deforestation fell from .18% (1990-2000) to .11% (2000-2011).
The highest concentration of forest loss is found in developing countries, specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa.