The world may have lost up to 35 million hectares (Mha) forest to urbanisation between 1992 and 2015, claimed a recent study published in the journal Nature. Most of thios loss was due to ‘indirect changes’ — new cropland to make up for existing agriculturral land eaten up by cities.
Up to 22 Mha shrubland could also have been lost, according to the study by Jasper van Vliet of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
“On a global scale, urban land increased from 33.2 to 71.3 Mha between 1992 and 2015, leading to a direct loss of 3.3 Mha of forest and an indirect loss of 17.8-32.4 Mha,” claimed Direct and indirect loss of natural area from urban expansion, published on July 29, 2019.
‘Direct changes’ refer to natural area that was converted into urban land.