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'Ghost roads' that aren't supposed to exist are killing the world's forests

Still Waters

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A massive effort to 'hand-map' undocumented roads has revealed the staggering extent of illegal or informal thoroughfares cut through forests of Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Guinea.

Using satellite imagery, researchers from Australia and Indonesia measured 1.37 million kilometers (851,000 miles) of thoroughfare – between three and seven times longer than the roads officially recorded in international databases for the same land area.

Within the surrounds of these missing 'ghost roads', they found, deforestation skyrocketed.


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