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New data on Global Forest Watch shows that in some of the world's most heavily forested nations, more than 90 percent of tree cover loss is happening in natural forests rather than plantations. That's a problem since natural forests, especially those in the tropics, provide much greater climate, biodiversity and water benefits over planted lands.

Clearing land for timber and agriculture is likely to blame for Indonesia's latest bout of fires. According to data from Global Forest Watch—a new online system that tracks tree cover change, fires, and other information in near-real time—roughly half of these fires are burning on land managed by oil palm, timber, and logging companies—despite the fact that using fire to clear land is illegal in Indonesia.

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