Evergreen forest in Otdar Meanchey Province
Cambodia has one of the fastest rates of forest loss in the world. In broad swaths of the country, densely forested landscapes—even those in protected areas—have been clear-cut over the past decade. Much of the forest has been cleared for rubber plantations and timber.
Scientists from the University of Maryland and the World Resources Institute's Global Forest Watch have been using Landsat satellite data to track the rate of forest loss on a global scale. Though other countries have lost more acres in recent years, Cambodia stands out for how rapidly its forests are being cleared.
Between 2001 and 2014, the annual forest loss rate in Cambodia increased by 14.4 percent. Put another way, the country lost a total of 1.44 million hectares—or 5,560 square miles—of forest. Other countries with accelerating rates of forest loss include Sierra Leone (12.6 percent), Madagascar (8.3 percent), Uruguay (8.1 percent), and Paraguay (7.7 percent).
Green indicates dense forest in 2000, red indicates forest loss between 2000 and 2014