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Last year humanity destroyed an expanse of tropical forest nearly the size of England, the fourth-largest decline since global satellite data become available in 2001, researchers reported Thursday.Almost a third of that area, some 36,000 square kilometers, was pristine primary rainforest, according to the annual assessment from scientists at Global Forest Watch, based at the University of Maryland.Nearly a third of primary forest destruction took place in Brazil (13,500 square kilometers), with Congo (4,800 square kilometers), Indonesia (3,400 square kilometers), Colombia (1,800 square kilometers) and Bolivia (1,500 square kilometers) rounding out the top five.Madagascar lost 2 percent of its entire rainforest in 2018 .Globally, forests absorb about 30 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, just over 11 billion tons of CO2 a year.One bright spot in the report was Indonesia, which lost 3,400 square kilometers of primary forest in 2018 a 63 percent drop compared to 2016 .
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