The rate of deforestation has slowed over the past 10 years, but each year an area roughly the size of Costa Rica is still destroyed, according to a comprehensive forest review released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). "For the first time, we are able to show that the rate of deforestation has decreased globally as a result of concerted efforts taken both at local and international level," said Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director-General of FAO's Forestry Department, referring to the agency's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. Between 2000 and 2010, some 13 million hectares of forests were converted annually to other uses, such as agriculture, or lost through natural causes, down from 16 million hectares per year during the 1990s, according to the assessment which surveyed 233 countries and areas. Tree planting programmes in countries such as China, India, the United States and Vietnam � combined with natural expansion of forests in some regions � have added more than seven million hectares of new forests annually. In addition, Brazil and Indonesia, which had the highest loss of forests in the 1990s, have significantly reduced their deforestation rates.


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