• The Earth & I Editorial Team

North Korea’s Deforestation Woes


Deforestation   ©The Earth & I
  1. North Korea, a mountainous nation of 25.7 million people with a land area of 120,410 sq/km, had 80% tree coverage in 1945.  

  2. By 2000, tree coverage dropped to 30% or 5.1 million ha (around 20,000 square miles). 

  3. Tree coverage loss continued for two decades, shrinking by 248,259 ha (958 square miles) by 2022. 

  4. Recorded tree cover loss was highest in 2019, with 27,492 ha or 106 square miles of loss. 

  5. Scientific American reported that the North Korean government “acknowledges that forest cover shrank sharply during a famine in the 1990s, going from 8.3 million hectares to 7.6 million hectares in just a few years.” 

  6. The same report cited a 2014 study showing that North Korean forests were “becoming more fragmented, with less contiguous tree cover.” 


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