Forests in North Korea are disappearing at an alarmingly rapid pace, according to a new report.
Maplecroft, a UK-based risk analysis firm, said Thursday that among 180 countries surveyed, North Korea had the third highest deforestation rate trailing only Nigeria and Indonesia, respectively.
The United Nations estimates that, as of the end of 2008, North Korea had lost almost one-third of its entire forest mass.
Environmental specialists blame the country's rampant deforestation on terraced farming and indiscriminate chopping for firewood.
Maplecroft has strongly urged North Korea, Nigeria, and Indonesia to better protect their forests and start planting trees.
Deforestation is estimated to contribute up to 20 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions.