Current Issues: Max Kerns

Mongabay: World’s watersheds lost 6 percent of their forests in 14 years

( : August 31st, 2016)

 This article highlights the devastating effect that deforestation has on the some 230 watersheds worldwide. Using satellite imagery, World Resources Institute (WRI), tracks the deforestation of these watershed that shows tree cover loss from 6-14% with some cases showing loss of upwards of 22% over the last 15 years. Some of the most extreme cases are highlighted in Indonesia and Malaysia, due to heavy agriculture for oil palm and wood fiber. This has dire ramifications for local species and communities that rely on the tree cover that helps with a multitude of benefits from preventing erosion to the filtering of groundwater. Deforestation of the watersheds has also been linked to massive landslides, flooding, pollution, and fire specifically on these islands. Though the article also points out that deforestation has been going on much longer than the last 15 years, these same effects can be seen elsewhere still, in places like the watershed of Krishna, India.

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