Russian boreal forests, known as the "taiga", comprise the largest forest area (about 808.8 million ha) in the world (FAO 2006; WWF 2007). Although these forests have relatively few tree species, they are crucial to terrestrial ecosystem, climate change, as well as local social and economic activities. Recently, large areas of forests are under threat from different factors (both human and natural), and significant deforestation occurred.
North Korea (officially called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK) has experienced deforestation for decades through a cycle of severe food shortages and natural disasters such as large-scale flooding, drought, and land-slides (Kim, Chung, and Park 2009). As the State of the Environment in North Korea indicates, the forest resource degradation is of prime importance (Kirby 2004).
The northern part of Honduras along the Caribbean coastline gets attention for its high rate of primary forest with varied plant and wildlife. Honduras, as the second largest country in Central America, has over two thousand indigenous people who still lead a traditional way of life in the mountainous landscape (CIA 2009). In 1980, the Hondurans government setup 525 thousand square km area of tropical forest in this area to be included in the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (RPBR) located on the watershed of the Rio Platano.
Deforestation has long been an issue for Madagascar as it is one of the world's top biodiversity conservation priorities because of its high concentration of endemic species and extreme rates of habitat loss (Whitehurst et al. 2009). The Makira Forest is an example of one of the deforestation hot spots located across Madagascar. Located in the northeast of Madagascar, the forests of Makira represent one of the largest remaining contiguous tropical rainforest areas in Madagascar.
Rondônia, in the western part of the Amazon, is one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon region (Nelson 2009). The main factors responsible for the deforestation have been explosive population growth, logging, mining, small-scale farming and ranching (Pedlowski et al. 1997). Those who move to this area claim land along the road, and clear some of it for corresponding uses. As a result, the deforestation follows a “fishbone pattern”, arrayed along the edges of roads (figure 1) (NASA 2009a, 2009b).
Deforestation in Myanmar has been an environmental issue since the colonial times. However in recent times the rate of deforestation has rapidly increased.
The fastest rate of deforestation in Indonesia is occurring in central Sumatra's Riau province, which is also one of the fastest in the world (FAO 2006, Greenpeace 2007). About one third of total deforestation in Riau is caused by oil palm plantations, while the majority of the remainder is due to pulpwood plantations. Among the plantations for pulpwood production, two global pulp and paper companies account for much of the total deforestation (WWF 2006).