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SOURCE: Think Progress

DATE: October 23, 2017

SNIP: In 2016, the world’s forests lost more than 73.4 million acres of tree cover — an area roughly the size of New Zealand, and a 51 percent increase from the year before.

Tree cover — considered any wooded area, natural or otherwise — is declining at an alarming rate, fueled by poor forest management and climate change-driven drought, according to a study published Monday by Global Forest Watch.

“We see a massive increase in tree cover loss in 2016, and, from what we have seen, it seems like the main reason for the increase is a proliferation of forest fires both in the tropics and other parts of the world,” Mikaela Weisse, a research analyst with Global Forest Watch, told ThinkProgress.

The tree cover loss recorded in 2016 is the highest amount since Global Forest Watch began keeping records in 2000.