Annual health check of global forests: just 28% are doing well

Single.Earth News
December 15, 2022
Tarmo Virki

MONTREAL, Dec 14 — Only 28% of global forests are in very good health as increasing deforestation, land-use change, and agricultural production are weighing on the forests, new research shows.

On Dec 7–19, government representatives from around the world are meeting in Montreal for the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), seeking to agree on targets to ensure species’ survival and stem the collapse of ecosystems worldwide. During the conference, the Estonian greentech Single.Earth presented its Ecosystem Integrity Index. According to the novel methodology, there are just 11.4 million square kilometers of healthy or high-integrity forests left, representing 28.01% of all forests globally.

“Deforestation, land-use change, and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contribute significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity. High western-world demands for so-called “luxury products” are at the heart of the issue and are grounded within the way our economy is set up,” said Shaya van Houdt, Biodiversity and Natural Climate Solution Expert at Single.Earth.

The Ecosystem Integrity Index is a novel approach developed by Single.Earth to measure the condition of forest ecosystems and integrate nature into the economy. The index combines in a single metric essential biodiversity variables from the peer-reviewed literature with remotely-sensed earth observations that capture ecosystem function, composition, and structure. 

“Forests integrity is crucial as the health of the remaining forests is vital to preventing climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Arildo Dias, Senior Researcher of Natural Climate Solutions at Single.Earth. 

EQT-backed Single.Earth tokenizes nature — initially focusing on biodiverse forests — for its ecological value. Earlier this year, Single.Earth started with the assessment and tokenization of carbon sequestration and now adds biodiversity to its offering.

Single.Earth was founded by Merit Valdsalu and Andrus Aaslaid in 2019 with a mission to make nature-positive decisions economically viable. The company’s investors include EQT Ventures, Icebreaker.VC, and Pipedrive founders Ragnar Sass and Martin Henk.

Single.Earth’s MERIT token has been designed from the ground up using evidence-based science, reflecting the value of nature in a compatible manner for the Web3 world and raising the interest of innovative companies and crypto-savvy private investors.

With MERIT, buyers protect Amazon primary rainforests in Brazil and mature forests in Europe while also receiving a virtual asset based on real-life nature. MERIT is a token representing the value of an intact and thriving nature and, more specifically, its ecological integrity.

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