The Philippines’ once sprawling 16 million hectares (39.5 million acres) of virgin forests dominated by hardwoods is now down to only 700,000 hectares (1.7 million acres). The blame is falling on governments that over the years have passed laws favorable to logging concessions and implemented forest protection poorly.
The Philippines, with a deforestation rate of 1,900 hectares (4,695 acres) a day, will likely be completely denuded by 2025, forestry experts predict.
“Unchecked illegal logging remains the main culprit,” Philippine senator Loren Legarda says. “Government negligence has prompted the devastation of the forests. Much of the remaining forests have now been invaded by commercial loggers,” she said.