~ CHAPTER 3 ~
INVENTORY OF FOREST RESOURCES
NOTE 1: Chapter 3 Section (3-C) and beyond are in another file(df3c.html)
NOTE 2: The notation (SU2) means that the information is also in the paper on the sustainability of the global productivity of food and fiber supply systems. (In preparation, 7/12/07)
-TABLE OF CONTENTS:
(3-A) ~ Global Inventory - [A1]
General, [A2] Frontier Forests, [A3] Inventory Decrements, [A4] Plantations, [A5]~Biomass Inventory and NPP data, [A6] WRI Table, [A7] Softwood Forests, [A8] Temperate Rainforest, [A9] Tropical Rainforest, [A10]~ Protected Forests, [A11]-Developing Countries, [A12] Boreal Forests, [A13] Mangrove Forests, [A14] Bamboo Forests, [A15]~Growing Stock,
(3-B) ~ Asia - [B1] General, [B2] Middle East, [B3] Asian Subcontinent, [B4] Southeast Asia, [B5] Far East, [B6]~Central Asia,
NOTE: Sections (3-C), (3-D), (3-E) and (3-F) below are in another file.
(3-C) ~ Africa
~ [C1] General, [C2] North Africa, [C3] West Africa, [C4] East Africa, [C5] Southern Africa, [C6] Sahel, [C7]~Central Africa,
(3-D) ~ North America ~ [D1] Alaska, [D2] Canada, [D3] US, [D4] US - Western, [D5] US - Eastern, [D6] Long-leafed Pine, [D7]~Pinyon-Juniper, [D8] Rocky Mountains, [D9] Southeastern US,
(3-E) ~ South and Central America ~ [E1] Latin America, [E2] Central America, [E3] Tropical Andes Mountains, [E4] Amazon Basin, [E5]-Brazil, [E6] South America,
(3-F) ~ Europe, Australia and Oceania ~ [F1] Europe in General, [F2] Southern Europe, [F3] Northern Europe, [F4] Australia, [F5] Oceania, [F6] New Zealand,
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SECTION (3-A) ~ Global Inventory ~ [A1] General, [A2] Frontier Forests, [A3] Inventory Decrements, [A4] Plantations, [A5]~ Biomass Inventory, [A6] WRI Table, [A7] Softwood Forests, [A8] Temperate Rainforest, [A9] Tropical Rainforest, [A10]~Protected Forests, [A11]-Developing Countries, [A12] Boreal Forests, [A13] Mangrove Forests, [A14] Bamboo Forests, [A15]~Growing Stock,
See Chapter 7 Section F - Databases "World Resources 2005" for large compilations of:
Total land areas of Nations and Regions
Land Area Classifications - Forested (MODIS Satellite Imagery in 2000)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (greater than 50% cover and greater than 10% cover)
Land Area Classifications - Forested (FAO Estimates (greater than 10% cover in 1990 and 2000)
Land Area Classifications - Agriculture - Arable and Permanent croplands (1992 and 2002)
Land Area Classifications - Agriculture - Permanent Pasture (1992 and 2002)
Land Area Classifications - Drylands
(For more information see http://earthtrends.wri.org/datatables/forests)
Part [A1] ~ Global Inventory ~ General ~
Total (global) forest area in 2005 is estimated to be just under 4 billion hectares (ha) (40 million km2) or 30% of total (ice-free) land area. This corresponds to an average of 0.62 ha of forest per capita (05F1). 64 countries (out of a total of about 180) with a combined population of 2.0 billion (out of a total of 6.0 billion) have less than 0.1 ha of forest per capita (05F1). The 10 most forest-rich countries of the world account for two-thirds of total (global) forest area. Seven countries or territories have no forest at all. An additional 57 countries have forest cover on less than 10% of their total land area (05F1).
North America, Central America and Oceania each had a net loss of forest area of about 3500 km2 of forest area annually during 2000-2005 (05F1).
Total (global) area of "other wooded land" (other than forest land) is estimated to be at least 13.76 million km2 - about one-third the size of total (global) forest area (05F1). Comments: These lands have only scattered trees and are not used as croplands, though some are also grazed.
The global area of "modified natural forests" (forests of naturally regenerated native species in which there are clearly visible indications of human activity) is about 2 billion hectares (20 million km2) (53% of all forests). An estimated 7% of the world's forests are "semi-natural forests" - i.e. forests comprising native species, established through planting, seeding or assisted natural regeneration (05F1).
(Growing stock inventory) In 2005 the total global growing stock of forests was estimated at 434 billion m3, which corresponds to an average of 110 m3 per hectare (11,000 m3/ km2). The countries with the most growing stock per hectare were found in central Europe and in some tropical areas (05F1).
(Forest area inventory) Total (global) forest area as of 2005 is estimated at 39.52 million km2 or 30% of total ice-free land area. This corresponds to an average of 0.62 ha per capita (05F1).
Distribution of forests by subregion in 2005 (05F1)
(Change rate of forest area) 18 countries have an estimated annual positive change rate of 1% or more in forest area due to natural expansion of forests and afforestation. The ten countries with the largest estimated annual positive change rates for 2000-2005 are: Rwanda (6.9%); Iceland (3.9%); Bahrain (3.8%); Lesotho (2.7%); Kuwait (2.7%); Egypt (2.6%); China (2.2%); Cuba (2.2%); Viet Nam (2.0%) and Tunisia (1.9%) (05F1). Comments: Much of this data looks very suspicious.
(Growing stock inventory) Total (global) growing stock is estimated at 434 billion m3, of which some 30% is found in South America. The five countries with the greatest total growing stock account for almost 261 billion m3, which corresponds to 60% of the global total. Of these, Brazil has the largest growing stock, with 81 billion m3 or 19% of the total. The global average for growing stock per hectare is 11,000 m3/ km2. The countries with the highest growing stock per km2 are found in central Europe and in some tropical countries (05F1).
(Production-Oriented Forest Inventory) About 50% of the world's forests are designated for production (as either its primary or secondary function) and thus are available to supply wood and non-wood forest products (NWFPs). The total area of forest designated for production does not show any significant trend for the period 1990-2005 (05F1).
(Production-Oriented Forest Inventory) At the global level, 34% of total forest area has production designated as its main purpose. In Europe, 73% of forest area has production as the primary function, while North America reported only 6% designated for production - instead reporting most of its forests as designated for multiple use (05F1). Comments: "Multiple-use" is essentially the same as "production-oriented" in the US.
(Productive Forest Plantation Locations) In the East Asia subregion, 95% of the productive forest plantations are found in China. In South- and Southeast Asia, 68% of productive forest plantations are in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. In Western and Central Asia, 98% are found in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in Turkey. Canada, which acknowledges that it has forest plantations, had insufficient data for area reporting. Thus in North America, 99.6% of the reported forest plantations are in the US. In Eastern and Southern Africa, 51% of productive forest plantations are in South Africa; in Western and Central Africa, 71% are in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal; and in Northern Africa, 96% are in Ethiopia, Morocco and the Sudan. The Russian Federation has 55% of the productive forest plantations in Europe; Australia and New Zealand 93% of those in Oceania; and Argentina, Brazil and Chile 82% of those in South America (05F1).
World Forest Cover Data, 1990-2000, (in millions of km2). (UNFAO, "Forest Resources Assessment 2000", 4/10/01 www.fao.org/forestry/fo/fra/index.jsp)
Area of World Forestland Available and Unavailable for Wood Supply (in millions of km2) (FAO, "Agriculture Towards 2015/30", Technical Interim Report (Geneva: Economics and Social Department, April 2000 p.156-57)).
Available for Wood Supply - - - - - - - - - - -|15.63
- - -Semi-natural - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -| 8.98
- - -Undisturbed ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 6.65
Unavailable for Wood Supply - - - - - - - - - -|16.57
- - -Legal Restrictions~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 2.90
- - -Economic Restrictions
- - - - -Physical Reasons~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 2.56
- - - - -Transport/infrastructure constraints~ | 3.65
- - - - -Other ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 7.46
Total Forested Area - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|32.21
The world's forest cover in 2000 was 38.6 million km2 compared to the FAO's previous estimate of 34.5 million in 1995. However, the two estimates are not directly comparable due to changes in definitions and the information base (01F1). (la)
Total forest area by ecological zone and distribution between regions, according to FRA 2000 global ecological zoning and global forest cover map (01F1) (la)
The world's natural forests in 2000 were still subject to net decreases due to deforestation (01F1).
Total forest volume (over bark) and aboveground woody biomass were estimated for 166 countries, representing 99% of the world's forest area. The world totals are 500 billion m3 of wood equivalent to 350 billion tons of woody biomass. Almost one third is located in South America and 18% is in Brazil alone. The worldwide average standing volume is 126 m3/ ha equivalent to 92 tons/ ha. South America had the highest average standing volume at 172 m3/ ha, North and Central America 129 m3/ ha, Africa 124 m3/ ha, Europe 112 m3/ ha, Asia 99 m3/ ha and Oceania with 73 m3/ ha. South America is the highest in terms of average biomass at 128 tonnes/ ha (01F1).
Reductions in net deforestation (or gains in forest area) in developing and industrialized countries were mainly due to significant increases in forest plantations and the succession of forests on abandoned agricultural lands, e.g. the southern US. The current rate of plantation establishment is 45,000 km2/ year worldwide. For the 1990's as a whole, however, it was estimated that about 30,000 km2/ year of plantations were successfully established, half of which constitute reforestation of previously forested lands. There were no significant transitions from plantations into natural forests, or conversions into agricultural lands (01F1). (la)
From the aggregation of data supplied by countries to FAO, net deforestation rates during 1990 - 2000 were estimated at 900,000 km2/ year globally, vs. previous estimates of 1,130,000 km2/ year (1990 - 1995 (97F1)) and 1,300,000 km2 (1980 - 1990 (95F2)). Net deforestation has likely decreased since the 1980s at the global level (01F1). Comments: These statements are subject to interpretation. Deforestation sometimes refers to the rate of timbering of land that will continue to serve as forestlands. Deforestation also sometimes means the rate of conversion of forestland to other uses such as grazing lands, croplands and urban lands. The figures above probably include harvest rates plus the rate of conversion to other uses. There is a lot of sloppiness in forest data. Be careful.
Regional forest cover and forest cover change (01F1) (la)
The result of the uniform application of a new FAO forest definition (see below) had a significant impact on the global forest area for 2000. It resulted in an estimated forest area 4 million km2 greater than the global figure reported for 1995 (97F1). The dramatic increase of over 115 million ha. of forest is a consequence of the application of a 10% canopy cover threshold for defining forest, as opposed to the 20% threshold used for industrialized countries in previous assessments.
The world's forest cover in 2000 was about 38.6 million km2, or about 0.6 ha per capita. Net deforestation at the global level was estimated at approximately 90,000 km2/ year and gross global deforestation at approximately 135,000 km2/ year. Net deforestation rates were highest in Africa and South America, whereas afforestation, through forest plantations, significantly offset the loss of forests in Asia. In contrast, the forest cover in industrialized countries remained essentially stable (01F1). Comments: "Deforestation" here probably refers to the rate of conversion of forest land to other uses.
Net deforestation at the global level is 90,000 km2/ year, with gross deforestation estimated at 135,000 km2/ year. This is a significantly lower net rate compared to the FAO's previous report for the period 1990-1995 (113,000 km2/ year), partly due to improved datasets. Key factors contributing to the estimate of lower net forest loss are attributed to natural regeneration of forests in industrialized countries and high rates of plantation establishment in Asia, particularly in China and India. However, the large-scale conversion of forests to other land uses was not significantly lower in the tropics between the 1980s and the 1990s (01F1).
Forest data (01F1) (la)
Column 2 - Total ice-free Land Area in units of 1000 km2
Col.3 - Total Forest in 2000 in units of 1000 km2
Col.4 - Total Forest Area in 2000 in %
Col.5 - Total Forest Area in 2000 in Area/ capita (ha/capita)
Col.6 - Forest Area Change in 1990-2000 in units of 1000 km2
Col.7 - Forest Area Change in 1990-2000 in %/ year
Column 1~ ~ ~ | 2~ ~ | 3 ~ | 4~ | 5 | 6 ~ | 7
Africa~ ~ ~ ~ | 30084| 6499|21.6|0.9|-5264|-0.8
Asia~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 31667| 5421|17.1|0.2| -371|-0.1
Oceania ~ ~ ~ | ~8486| 2012|23.7|6.7| ~-83| 0.0
Europe~ ~ ~ ~ | 22762|10395|45.7|1.4| ~871| 0.1
Canada~ ~ ~ ~ | ~9215| 2446|26.5|7.9| ~ ~0| 0.0
US~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~9159| 2260|24.7|0.8| ~388| 0.2
N.& Cent.Amer.| 20989| 5493|26.2|1.2| -570|-0.1
South America | 17837| 8742|49.0|2.6|-3628|-0.4
Total-World ~ |131825|38562|29.3|0.7|-9045|-0.2
NOTE: The original reference (01F1) contains a country-by-country breakdown of the above data.
Global forestry, 2000 (Table 6.1 of (03M1)) (la)
- - - - - - - | ~ ~ ~ ~|Total forest| ~ ~ |Annual cover| -
Region- - - - | Area ~ |% of| Area |Plant-| change | -
- - - - - - - | ~ ~ ~ ~|land| per- |ation |1990-2000| -
- - - - - - - | ~ ~ ~ ~|area|capita| Area | ~ ~ ~| -
- - - - - - - |'000 ha | %~ | ~ha~ |000 ha|000 ha|%/ year
Africa~ ~ ~ ~ | 649,866|21.8| 0.85 | ~8036|-5262 |-0.78
Asia~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 547,793|17.8| 0.15 |115847| -364 |-0.07
Oceania ~ ~ ~ | 197,623|23.3| 6.58 | ~2848| -365 |-0.18
N./Cent. Amer.| 549,304|25.7| 1.15 | 17533| -570 |-0.10
South America | 885,618|50.5| 2.60 | 10455|-3711 |-0.41
Europe~ ~ ~ ~ |1039,251|46.0| 1.43 | 32015| ~881 | 0.08
World ~ ~ ~ ~ |3869,455|29.6| 0.65 |186733|-9391 |-0.22
Source: FAO (01F1).
The "Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000" (FRA 2000; see (01F1)) estimates the global forest area in 2000 at 38.7 million km2 or about 30% of global land area (03M1). (la)
Tropical and subtropical forests comprise 48% of the world's forests, while temperate and boreal forests account for the remaining 52% (03M1). (la)
Natural forests are estimated to constitute about 95% of global forests, while plantation forests constitute around 5% (03M1). (la)
The global rate of loss of natural forests was 160,000 km2/ year - 94% of it in the tropics (02U1).
The UN estimates the world lost 940,000 km2 of forest to other land uses in the 20th century. Developing countries lost 1,300,000 km2 while industrial (developed) nations gained 360,000 km2 as a result of abandoned agricultural areas being reclaimed by forests (02U1).
Using the IGBP definition of forest ecosystem and satellite image data, the PAGE study calculated the total forest area in 1993 as 29 million km2 (22% of the world's ice-free land area). Using the FAO definition of forest ecosystem gives the 1995 global forest area of 34.5 million km2 ((97F1), p.185). Comments: Other estimates that are higher - 40+ - probably also include open woodlands and shrub-lands. (la)
In 1990 "forests" covered 34 million km2 and "other wooded land" covered 17 million km2. "Other wooded land" includes natural open woodlands, natural closed forests, and tree plantations (97S1). (la)
In countries with little forest cover, trees outside forests constitute the main source of wood and non-wood forest products. For example, in Morocco, where forests are less than 5% of the land and other wooded lands only 7%, nearly 20% of the land may be occupied by trees outside forests, namely as wooded pasture (84% of the land occupied by trees outside forests) and fruit tree plantations (12%) (01F1).
The "closed forest" area of the world is estimated at 38 million km2. But the values of the society limit the availability for fuel and fiber supply. Hagler has estimated that 21 million km2 (55% of all "closed" forests) are available to meet the world's demand for fuel and fibers (96N1). This estimate is broken down in a table below. (la)
Satellite images posted on an innovative new Web site by Global Forest Watch, http://www.globalforestwatch.org/english/index.html shows "widespread" logging in the Congo Basin and "extensive" development in the forests of Canada. It aims to expand to cover 21 countries and 80% of the world's remaining pristine forests over the next 5 years. The project, created by the World Resources Institute (WRI), is backed by 75 partners in 7 countries, including both environmental groups and private companies. (UNWire, 2/29/00).
Ref. (81B1) tabulates the world's forested areas by region as of 1973. It also tabulates biomass of the world's forests and woodlands by forest type (81B1).
Seven countries hold over 60% of the world's forests: Russia, Brazil, Canada, US, China, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) (98A2).
Ref. (71D1) notes that, of the world's 41.2 million km2 of forests, 23.1 are in the developing countries, as opposed to 7.3 in North America. Comments: Obsolete data - historical value only.
A map of the world's forests, and a map of US forests are in Ref. (79S4).
A mid-1970s inventory found 11.5 million km2 of closed tropical forests (80U1). Comments: obsolete data (la)
Globally, there are 20.6 million km2 of closed forest, with 60% in hardwoods. Over 50% of these closed forests are in temperate climates that accounts for 40% of the world's forest harvest (Ref. 126 of (91M1)). Comments: A table below indicates 28.4 million km2 of closed forests (90W1). (la)
Estimated Production Forest by World Region in 1995 (million km2) (la) Source: Hagler (1995) in Ref. (96N1)
Region- - - - -|Conif~ |Non- ~ | -
- - - - - - - -|erous~ |Conif. | Total
North America~ | 2.686 | 1.702 | 4.388
Latin America~ | 0.089 | 6.601 | 6.690
Western Europe | 0.659 | 0.323 | 0.982
Russia/E.Europe| 3.242 | 1.318 | 4.560
S. East Asia ~ | 0.987 | 2.285 | 3.272
Rest of World~ | 0.071 | 0.743 | 0.814
World Totals ~ | 7.734 |12.972 |20.706
Global Forest Status by Region(97B2) (la)
Global Forest Inventory (mid-1970s) (81B2) (in millions of km2) (la)
Global Forest Resources, circa 1980 (UN FAO data) (88P1) (la)
(Column 2 through Column 6 are Areas in units of million km2)
F. F. and S (Col. 5) = Forest Fallow and Shrub-land
Region- - - - |Closed| Open| Total|F.F. |Total
- - - - - - - |Forest|Woods|Forest|and S|- - .
Africa~ ~ ~ ~ | 2.36 | 5.08| 7.44 | 6.08|13.52
Latin America | 7.39 | 2.48| 9.87 | 3.13|13.00
Soviet Union~ | 7.92 | 1.37| 9.29 | - - | 9.29
Asia w/o China| 2.37 | 0.61| 2.98 | 0.62| 3.60
China ~ ~ ~ ~ | 1.22 | 0.15| 1.37 | - - | 1.37
North America | 4.59 | 2.75| 7.34 | - - | 7.34
Europe~ ~ ~ ~ | 1.37 | 0.22| 1.59 | - - | 1.59
Oceania ~ ~ ~ | 2.23 | 0.76| 2.99 | 0.47| 3.46
Totals~ ~ ~ ~ |29.45 |13.42|42.87 |10.30|53.17
Global Forest Inventory(FAO data) (84P1) (millions of km2) (la)
Global Forest Cover Inventory - Original and Current(91P1) (Col. 2, 3 - Areas in million km2) (la)
World Forest Areas (in millions of km2) and volumes (in billions of m3) (77E1) (la)
(Source: Reidar Persson, World Forest Resources (1974))
- - - - - - - - -| Land |Forest Area~ | Forest Volumes |
Region- - - - - -| Area |Total/Closed@|Conif.|Broadleaf|All#
Africa ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 30.3 | 8.0 / 1.9 ~ | ~0.1 | ~ 5.1 ~ | 39
Asia w/o USSR~ ~ | 27.5 | 5.3 / 4.0 ~ | ~5.5 | ~28.5 ~ | 40
Cent. America~ ~ | ~2.7 | 0.7 / 0.6 ~ | ~0.7 | ~ 1.5 ~ | ~6
South America~ ~ | 17.8 | 7.3 / 5.3 ~ | ~0.5 | ~59.5 ~ | 96
Aust./Oceania~ ~ | ~8.5 | 1.9 / 0.8 ~ | ~0.3 | ~ 1.0 ~ | ~9
Europe (w/o USSR)| ~4.9 | 1.7 / 1.4 ~ | ~8.0 | ~ 4.0 ~ | 13
North America~ ~ | 21.5 | 6.3 / 6.3 ~ | 26.5 | ~ 9.5 ~ | 59
USSR ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 22.4 | 9.2 / 7.7 ~ | 61.3 | ~12.0 ~ | 79
World Totals ~ ~ |135.6*|40.3 /28.0 ~ |102.9 | 121.1 ~ |341
@ Crowns of trees cover more than 20% of the area.
# volume in all forest land, including open, as well as closed, forest.
* World's ice-free land area is about 130-133 million km2.
R. Persson's 1974 study is the unofficial successor to the World Forest Inventory of the UN FAO. It was the most comprehensive, up-to-date study of world forests known as of 1977. Comments: Ref. (84B4) gives 201.7 billion m3 for the total tropical forest stem-wood biomass (density = 0.595 tonnes/ m3)
Ref. (81B1) notes that the most recent and best global estimate (its Ref. 2) says the world has 26 million km2 of closed forest + 12 million km2 of open woodlands and savannas. Reports (1950 data) give 45 million km2 + 23 million km2 respectively (81B1). Ref. (81B1) also tabulates forest resources/ capita by geographic regions in the mid-1970s. (la)
Many tropical hardwood forests support 25,000-35,000 m3 of biomass/ km2 in vegetative cover, but only 1-2% of this volume is useful in the production of industrial materials (76B1).
The world's timber inventory in trees large enough to be "commercially valuable" is 80 m3/ person (81B1). Projections to 2000 give 40 m3/ capita (82W1). Comments: Trees for sawtimber take on the order of 80-120 years to mature. However firewood and pulpwood matures in about 35 years, so caution must be exercised in interpreting the above statement. 80 m3 is about 40 dry tonnes.
Part [A2] ~ Global Inventory ~ Frontier Forests ~
An estimated 36% of total (global) forest area is classified as "primary forests", i.e. forests of native species, in which there are no clearly visible indications of human activity and ecological processes are not significantly disturbed. About 6 million hectares (60,000 km2) of these primary forests were lost or modified each year since 1990, and there is no indication that the rate of change is slowing down (05F1). This rapid decrease in forest area stems not only from deforestation, but also from:
Classification of Remaining Frontier Forests (98B1) (la)
Some 76 countries have no frontier forest remaining; 11 other countries are about to lose the rest of theirs (98A2).
Philippines lost 90% of its primary forest during the 1970s timber boom (98A2).
Countries with the Most Remaining Frontier Forests (98B1) (la)
(Columns 2 and 5 - Areas are in units of 1000 km2)
Inventory*# of Frontier-, Non-Frontier- and Cleared Forests(98B1) (la)
Data on Original Forest, Current Forest and Frontier Forest ((00W1), Table FG.2) (la)
Part [A3] ~ Global Inventory~ Inventory Decrements ~
Net global change in forest area during 2000-2005 is estimated at minus 7.3 million hectares (73,000 km2) per year, down from -8.9 million hectares (89,000 km2) per year during 1990-2000 (05F1). The total net forest loss for countries with a negative change in forest area was 13.1 million hectares (131,000 km2) per year for 1990-2000 and 12.9 million hectares (129,000 km2) per year during 2000-2005. This would indicate that annual deforestation rates were at least at this level. Since the net change rate takes into account afforestation efforts and natural expansion of forests, the rate of deforestation might be higher still (05F1). Taking these considerations into account, the global deforestation rate was estimated at 13 million hectares (130,000 km2) per year during 1990-2005, with few signs of a significant decrease over time (05F1).
About 40% of the world's forests will be gone within 10-20 years (02U1). Comments; This figure seems to be grossly excessive.
Some 55% of the global total forest loss during 1980-95 took place in 7 countries - Brazil, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Bolivia, Mexico, Venezuela and Malaysia (98A2).
During 1980-95, 2 million km2 of forest vanished (globally) (98A2). Comments: This probably refers to timber harvest rates - not rates of conversion to other uses.
Ref. (76E1) noted that the 1963 UN World Forest Inventory discovered that as much as half of the area reported as "forest land" in many countries was also labeled "unstocked" - a euphemism for partially or wholly denuded lands on which reforestation remains a hypothetical prospect. The UN FAO estimates of global forest cover has inadequacies, e.g. Ref. (83S1) notes that Indonesia claimed that it had 1.2 million km2 of forest cover in 1980 - the same as in 1960, even though deforestation is rampant there (83S1). UN researchers also found that figures on forestland were sometimes grossly doctored (76E1).
Ref. (81B1) cites references to support the statement that, around 1958, forests covered over 1/4 of the world's land surface. Now forests cover 1/5, and in 2000 are expected to cover 1/6 (81B1). Comments: Data on tropical- and temperate deforestation do not support this claim. The world's ice-free land area is 131 million km2. Total land area = 149 million km2, so the statement above probably refers to total land area and to closed forests only.
The world in 1990 had 6.515 million km2 of nationally protected areas (92R3). (Most are presumably forested.) The figure in Environment 32(1) (1990) is 4.82 million km2 including 700,000 km2 of Greenland National Park. (la)
Part [A4] ~ Global Inventory~ Plantations ~
New plantations - particularly those in China - are reducing global forest losses (FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 (FRA Forestry Paper 147) Visit http://www.fao.org/forestry/site/fra/en). Comments: This report covers 229 countries and territories. Forest plantations in China are rarely successful due to poor soils, arid conditions, and peasants gathering tree sprouts for firewood. (See elsewhere in this Review.)
Forest plantations - a subset of planted forests consisting primarily of introduced species - make up an estimated 4% of total (global) forest area. Productive forest plantations, primarily established for wood and fiber production, account for 78% of these plantations. Protective forest plantations, primarily established for conservation of soil and water, account for 22% (05F1).
The global area of forest plantations increased by about 14 million hectares (140,000 km2) during 2000-2005, 87% of which are productive forest plantations (05F1).
(Productive Forest Plantation Inventory) Productive forest plantations represented 1.9% of global forest area in 1990, 2.4% in 2000 and 2.8% in 2005. Currently, there are about 1.09 million km2 of productive forest plantations in the world. The Asia region accounts for 41%; Europe for 20%; North and Central America for 16%; South America and Africa for 10% each, and Oceania for 3%. The top 10 countries account for 73% of the total area, with China, the Russian Federation and the US together accounting for more than 50% of the total area of productive forest plantations. The area of productive forest plantations increased by 20,000 km2 per year during 1990-2000 and by 25,000 km2 per year during 2000-2005. All regions show an increase in plantation area, and the highest plantation growth rates are found in Asia, particularly in China (05F1). Comments: Reforestation in China is plagued by failures due to land being too arid for tree growth and to pheasants cutting young trees for firewood. So any reforestation data or plantation data from China must be viewed with suspicion.
(Productive Forest Plantation Inventory) The total global area of productive forest plantations reported in 2005 was 1.09 million km2, - 2.8% of the global forest area. The area is broken down by region and by subregion in Table 5.3 in Ref. (05F1).
(Productive Forest Plantation Inventory) At the global level, the area of productive forest plantations increased by 20,000 km2 per year during 1990-2000, and by 25,000 km2 per year during 2000-2005, an increase of 23% compared with the 1990-2000 period. In relative terms, productive forest plantations accounted for 1.9% of total global forest area in 1990, 2.4% in 2000 and 2.8% in 2005 (05F1).
The UN FAO projects that the current 1.13 million km2 of forest plantations could increase to 1.45 million km2 in 2030 (UNFAO, "Forest Resources Assessment 2000", 4/10/01 www.fao.org/forestry/fo/fra/index.jsp).
In 2000 the world had 1.13 million km2 of forest plantations (UNFAO, "Forest Resources Assessment 2000", 4/10/01 www.fao.org/forestry/fo/fra/index.jsp).
FRA 2000 identified the ten countries with the largest reported plantation development programs (by area) as China with 24% of the global area; India with 18%; the Russian Federation and the US each with 9%; Japan with 6%; Indonesia with 5%; Brazil and Thailand each with 3%; Ukraine with 2% and the Islamic Republic of Iran with 1%. Together, these account for 80% of the global forest plantation area (01F1).
Forest data (01F1)
Country/ Area|Total ~ ~ |Volume|Biomass
- - - - - - -|plantation| ~ ~ ~|
- - - - - - -|area~ ~ ~ | ~ ~ ~|
- - - - - - -|000 ha~ ~ |m3/ha |t/ha
Africa ~ ~ ~ | ~8,036 ~ | ~124 |109
Asia ~ ~ ~ ~ |115,874 ~ | ~ 99 | 83
Oceania~ ~ ~ | ~2,848 ~ | ~ 73 | 64
Europe ~ ~ ~ | 32,015 ~ | ~112 | 59
Canada ~ ~ ~ | - - - - -| ~120 | 83
US ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 16,238 ~ | ~136 |108
N./Cent.Amer.| 17,533 ~ | ~129 | 94
South America| 10,455 ~ | ~172 |128
Total-World~ |186,760 ~ | ~126 | 92
Forest plantations cover less than 5% of the world's forested areas, but account for 20% of current wood production (03U2).
Forest plantations cover less than 5% of global forested area, but account for 20% of current wood production (02U1).
Industrial roundwood plantations account for 3% of total forest area - about 1 million km2. However they provide about 22% of the world's industrial roundwood supply (99B1). (la)
Tree plantations occupy 1.8 million km2, split about equally between developed and developing nations (98A2). (la)
Over 50% of the area of forest plantations is devoted to producing wood fiber, wood panels and sawlogs. The remainder is for conserving soil and water on degraded land, or for local benefit (fuelwood, forage, etc.) (98A2).
In the past 15 years, tree-plantation area has doubled, globally, and is predicted to continue at this rate (98A2).
Between 1980-90 the area under forest plantations increased from 0.18 to nearly 0.44 million km2. By 2000 it had increased to 1.87 million km2 (03M1). (la)
Tree plantations occupy 1.8 million km2, split about equally between developed and developing nations. Over 50% of the area is devoted to producing wood fiber, wood panels and sawlogs. The remainder is for conserving soil and water on degraded land or for local benefit (fuelwood, forage etc.) (98A2). (la)
China, Russia, US, India and Japan account for 65% of global plantation forests (99B1).
Worldwide, 1.8+ million km2 of natural forests have been converted to forest plantations (98A1). (la)
Total plantation area in tropics (12/90): 438,000 km2, including 156,000 km2 of high-yielding industrial forest plantations (96N1). (la)
A table of areas of industrial forest plantations, circa 1985, is in Ref. (88P1). Total area (15 countries + W. Europe + "other") = 917,030 km2. Ref. (88P1) also tabulates global forest resources circa 1980 (region; closed forest area; open woodlands area; forest fallow- and shrubland area, etc.). (la)
Wood plantations, globally, cover 400,000 km2 (1993 data) (98M1). (la)
The UN-FAO estimates (in "State of the World's Forests 1997") of global plantation cover: 900,000 km2 in 1980; 1.8 million km2 in 1995 (98M1). As much as 1 million km2 is for industrial use; about 3/4 of that is planted in slow-growing species (e.g. teak and slower-growing pines); and 25% is in fast-growing species, mostly eucalyptus and the faster-growing pines. These are used mainly for pulpwood, fiberboard and other reconstituted-wood products (98M1). (la)
15% of all tropical forest plantation area is believed to have been established directly over natural forests (98M1).
A 1995 Central Bank of Chile report estimates that 1200 km2 of Chilean forest are destroyed each year. Of this, 600-900 km2 are replaced with tree plantations (97H2).
Part [A5] ~ Global Inventory~ Biomass Inventory and NPP data ~
Global Biomass Inventory and Net Primary Production (NPP) Around 1950
Literature values for the global phytomass carbon pool size (Gt. C) (87E3)
Comments: Clearly the Whittaker-Liken estimate of the global phytomass carbon pool is larger than all other estimates and should be considered as an upper limit rather than the best estimate. More recent data later in this document suggest that Whittaker/ Likens significantly over-estimate the size of global forest biomass inventory.
Various tropical-forest weighted carbon densities cited in Ref. (84B4):
18,800 tonnes Carbon/ km2 (Whittaker and Liken); 12,400 (84B4); 11,400 (Ref. 7 of (84B4)); 16,500 (Ref. 8 of (84B4)). Comments: Whittaker and Liken's data are believed to pertain to ideal natural conditions, not to conditions heavily influenced by Man.
Part [A6] ~ Global Inventory ~ WRI Table ~
National, Regional and Global Forestland Use (la)
LINE 1 of Region Totals: totals of individual nation data
LINE 2 of Region Totals: Regional totals from Tables 17.1,19.1
LINE 1 of Final Totals: sum of all national data
LINE 2 of Final Totals: sum of Tables 17.1/ 19.1 regional totals
LINE 3 of Final Totals: final totals from Tables 17.1/ 19.1
Comments: Above forest area data apparently includes boreal forests (11.7 million km2) since 2/3 of boreal forests are in Russia, and virtually all of Russia's forests are boreal, and about 75% of Canada's forests are thought to be boreal forests (95A2).
National, Regional and Global Forest-Land Use (Summary of Above WRI Table) (la)
Columns 2-6 - Land area units - 1000 km2
Col. 7,8 - Production Units - 1000 m3/ year
Forest Inventory Data*(00W1) (la)
Global Timber Inventory in billion ft3 and (billion m3
*) (from Pringle et al, 1976 (80H1))
Ref. (81B1) gives a table of estimates of World forest resources in 1978 and projections to 2000 by regions in terms of both land areas and timber volumes.
Part [A7] ~ Global Inventory ~Softwood Forests ~
Boreal forest cover = 12 million km2 (91S1); 11.7 million km2 (8301); 9.0 million km2 (79A1). 2/3 are in USSR and Scandinavia; 1/3 is in Canada and Alaska (91S1). Comments: If boreal forest are apportioned between USSR and Scandinavia according to the relative sizes of the total forest area in these two regions and do the same for Canada vs. Alaska, and assume a total boreal forest inventory of 11.7 million km2, we obtain the following regional inventories: Scandinavia 0.5 million km2; USSR 7.3 million km2; Canada 3.5 million km2; and Alaska 0.4 million km2. (la)
Siberian forests make up 58% of the world's softwood timber, vs. 27% in all of North America (93P1). Comments: Pringle's 1976 inventory is consistent with this statement (80H1). Tropical forests are mostly hardwood forests. Hardwoods make up over 90% of tropical moist forests (80M2) (Consistent with R. Persson's 1974 data).
Part [A8] ~ Global Inventory ~Temperate Rainforest ~
230,000 km2 of the world's temperate rainforest remains (56% of the original) (93D3). Coastal temperate rainforest once covered 300,000 to 400,000 km2. The current area is 140,000 km2 (Ref. 8 of (94D2)). Comments: These reside mainly on the west coast of Chile, US, Canada and Alaska. All are being liquidated rapidly. (la)
Part [A9] ~ Global Inventory ~ Tropical Rainforests ~
The Amazon Basin accounts for more than 50% of the world's tropical forests (02U3).
Deforestation in tropical areas exceeds 130,000 km2/ year (02U1).
Closed Tropical Forest Residents and Managers
(Nels Johnson, Bruce Cabarle, World Resources Institute, 1993)
FAO Estimates of Tropical Forest Inventory (and deforestation) (93M1) (la)
Region- - - - - - -|1990 Forest|Deforestation|(1981-90)
- - - - - - - - - -| area (km2)|km2/year |(%/ year)
E. Sahel Africa~ ~ | ~ 654,500 | ~5,950~ | 0.9
West Africa~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 556,070 | ~5,910~ | 1.0
Cent. Africa ~ ~ ~ | 2,041,120 | 11,390~ | 0.5
Trop. Southern ~ ~ | 1,458,868 | 13,450~ | 0.9
Africa ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 5,272,860 | 41,000~ | 0.7
Continental SE Asia| ~ 752,400 | 13,140~ | 1.6
Insular SE Asia~ ~ | 1,354,260 | 19,260~ | 1.3
Asia ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 3,105,970 | 39,040~ | 1.2
Cent. Amer. + Mex. | ~ 680,960 | 11,120~ | 1.5
Trop. S. America ~ | 8,029,040 | 61,730~ | 0.7
Latin America~ ~ ~ | 9,181,150 | 74,070~ | 0.8
Tropical Totals~ ~ |17,562,970 |154,110~ | 0.8
Comments: This inventory appears to include both open- and closed tropical forests.
FAO estimate of tropical forest inventory: 17,500,000 km2 (93U5). (la)
Tropical moist forests comprise 55% of the world's forests (80M2). (la)
World's tropical moist forests occupy 8.9 million km2 (84B3) (probably closed forest only). (la)
Tropical Forest Areas (km2) (Ref. 3 of (93S1)) (84G1) (FAO data) (la)
- - - - - - - | ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | Undist- |Unprod-~ |Logged/
Nation- - - - | ~ Total ~ | urbed ~ |uctive ~ |Managed
Brazil~ ~ ~ ~ | 3,562,800 |2,886,300| 556,500 | 120,000
Indonesia ~ ~ | 1,135,750 | ~389,150| 400,000 | 346,600
Zaire ~ ~ ~ ~ | 1,056,500 | ~797,400| 255,300 | ~ 3,800
Peru~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 693,100 | ~373,200| 259,900 | ~60,000
Colombia~ ~ ~ | ~ 464,000 | ~386,000| ~69,000 | ~ 9,000
India ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 460,440 | ~ 48,850| ~76,860 | 334,730
Bolivia ~ ~ ~ | ~ 440,100 | ~177,600| 141,600 | 120,900
Papua, New Gn.| ~ 337,100 | ~138,150| 196,750 | ~ 2,200
Venezuela ~ ~ | ~ 318,700 | ~ 76,000| 126,600 | 116,100
Burma ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 311,930 | ~141,070| ~80,770 | ~90,090
63 Others ~ ~ | 2,829,930 |1,270,430| 838,550 | 720,350
Total ~ ~ ~ ~ |11,610,350=|6,684,150+3001,830+|1923,770
Comments: This inventory includes only closed tropical forest, since global closed forest inventory is about 27 million km2. This inventory appears to include both moist- and dry closed tropical forest, since tropical moist closed forest occupies only 8.9 million km2 (84B3). Column 2 is very similar to World Resources Institute 1990-91 table for closed forestland (90W1).
Closed Tropical Forest Area (mid-1970s) (in units of 1000 km2) (80U1) (la)
Brazil ~ |3,000 |Burma ~ ~ ~ |360|Gabon~ | 200
Peru ~ ~ | ~650 |Papua New G.|400|Zaire~ |1000
Colombia | ~360 |Indonesia ~ |800|Other~ | - -
Bolivia~ | ~360 |Other Asian and |African| 900
Venezuela| ~350 |Australian |1560|Total =|9940
Open Latin American Forests ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 2300
Open Asian and Australian Forests ~ ~ | ~600
Open African Forests~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 5240
Total Open Tropical Forest~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 8140
Climax Area of Tropical Moist Forest and Deforestation(Sommer, 1976) (86B1) (la)
Tropical Forest Inventory, 1980 (89D2) (million km2) (la)
Biomass of Closed Tropical Forests based on Areas and Volumes from a 1981 FAO Reports(84B4) (la)
- - - - - - - -|Undisturbed | ~Logged ~ |Unprod-~ ~ |
Region- - - - -|Productive~ | ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |uctive ~ ~ | Totals
Area (1000 km2)|4529.8/15.3 | 535./136.4|1474.5/95.6|6786.6
Volume ~ ~ ~ ~ | 71.07/0.27 | 6.37/0.93 | 13.21/0.63| 92.48
Stemwood ~ ~ ~ | 43.92/0.13 | 3.94/0.43 | ~8.19/0.29| 56.90
Total Biomass~ | 70.28/0.21 | 6.31/0.69 | 13.10/0.47| 91.06
Biomass Density| 155.1/136.0|117.9/50.4 | ~88.8/49.2| - - -
Area (1000 km2)|1181.8/2.7~ |435.7/3.1~ | 526.6/5.4 |2155.3
Volume ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~30.3/0.05 | 8.41/0.02 | ~7.35/0.07| 46.21
Stemwood ~ ~ ~ | 17.56/0.02 | 4.87/0.01 | ~4.26/0.03| 26.75
Total Biomass~ | 28.09/0.03 | 7.79/0.02 | ~6.82/0.05| 42.80
Biomass Density| 237.7/118.5|178.9/51.6 | 129.5/88.9| - - -
Area (1000 km2)| 972.6/17.7 |946.2/38.3 |1000.8/28.0|3003.6
Volume ~ ~ ~ ~ | 20.97/0.30 | 9.70/0.52 | 14.45/0.35| 46.29
Stemwood ~ ~ ~ | 11.93/0.16 | 5.51/0.27 | ~8.24/0.18| 26.29
Total Biomass~ | 19.09/0.26 | 8.82/0.43 | 13.18/0.29| 42.07
Biomass Density| 196.3/144.9| 93.2/112.5|131.7/103.6| - - -
Area (1000 km2)|6684.2/35.7 1916.9/177.8|3001.9/129.|11945.5
Volume ~ ~ ~ ~ |122.35/0.62 |24.48/1.47 | 35.01/1.05| 184.98
Stemwood ~ ~ ~ | 73.41/0.31 |14.32/0.71 | 20.69/0.50| 109.94
Total Biomass~ |117.46/0.50 |22.92/1.14 | 33.10/0.81| 175.93
Biomass Density| 175.7/140.1|119.6/64.1 | 110.3/62.8| 147.30
Biomass of Open Tropical Forests based on Areas and Volumes from a 1981 FAO Reports (84B4) (la)
Region - - - - - - -|Productive|Unprod.| Totals
Area (1000 km2)- ~ ~ ~ |1428.9 | 741.1 |2170.0
Volume (billion m3 - ~ | ~ 6.17| ~ 1.33| ~ 7.50
Stemwood (billion t.)- | ~ 3.81| ~ 0.82| ~ 4.63
Tot.Biomass (billion t)| ~11.02| ~ 2.47| ~13.49
Biomass Density (t/ha.)| ~77.1 | ~33.3 | - - -
Area (1000 km2)- ~ ~ ~ |1692.2 |3172.3 |4864.5
Volume (billion m3)- ~ | ~ 4.68| ~ 3.76| ~ 8.44
Stemwood (billion t.)- | ~ 2.71| ~ 2.18| ~ 4.89
Tot.Biomass (billion t)| ~ 7.83| ~ 6.54| ~14.37
Biomass Density (t/ha.)| ~46.3 | ~20.6 | ~ - -
Area (1000 km2)- ~ ~ ~ | ~85.3 | 224.2 | 309.5
Volume (billion m3)- ~ | ~ 0.41| ~ 0.35| ~ 0.76
Stemwood (billion t.)- | ~ 0.23| ~ 0.20| ~ 0.43
Tot.Biomass (billion t)| ~ 0.67| ~ 0.59| ~ 1.26
Biomass Density (t/ha.)| ~79.0 | ~26.3 | ~ - -
Area (1000 km2)- ~ ~ ~ |3206.4 |4137.6 |7344.0
Volume (billion m3)- ~ | ~11.26| ~ 5.44| ~16.70
Stemwood (billion t.)- | ~ 6.75| ~ 3.20| ~ 9.95
Tot.Biomass (billion t)| ~19.52| ~ 9.60| ~29.12
Biomass Density (t/ha.)| ~60.9 | ~23.2 | ~39.70
Comments: National parks and preserves account for 13% of the "Unproductive" category. Total biomass = stemwood volume x 3.0 for open forests.
A world map showing original- and current extents of tropical rain forests is in Refs. (89D2) and (90R1).
The FAO estimates a global inventory of 16 million km2 of closed rainforests around 1900 (9.4 million km2 in 1975). (la) Reference citation lost)
In 1982 tropical rainforests occupied 11,610,350 km2 between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn in 76 countries (84G1). (la)
A few centuries ago, the world's rainforests covered 21.2 million km2. They now cover 9.07 million km2 (91J1) (11.95 million km2 according to Ref. 84B4). (la)
Tropical Forest Cover in 1980 (in millions of km2) (88P1) (la)
Tropical America|12.12 |Tropical Africa| 13.12
Tropical Asia ~ | 4.45 |Total~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 29.69
Comments: These numbers apparently include both open and closed forests (possibly even forest fallow and shrubland).
Original area covered by tropical montane forest (cool, moist upland areas) was 2.61 million km2. Current inventory is 2/3 of that (88P1). (la)
Part [A10] ~ Global Inventory ~ Protected Forests ~
Worldwide, about 10% of the world's forests are protected. Regional results were that North and Central America had 17% of their forests under protection; South America, 16%; Africa, 11%; Oceania, 10%; Asia, 9%; and Europe (including the Russian Federation) 5% (01F1). (la)
Areas of Indonesian forest being cut for coffee plantations increased by 28% between 1996 and 2001. 70% of Lampung's coffee production occurs inside and adjacent to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park ("Indonesia: Cheap Coffee 'Threatens Wildlife'", BBC News, 4/27/03).
It is estimated that more than 30,000 protected areas have been established, worldwide, and that these cover 3.7% of the global land area (03M1). Comments: Not all of this is forested land, particularly in the huge Greenland National Park.
The area of world's forests in formally protected areas is estimated to be 4.79 million km2, or 12.4% of total forest area (01F1). (la)
FAO's Global Fiber Supply Model (98B3) estimates that 48% of the world's forests are available for wood supply. The remainder is legally protected or physically inaccessible, or otherwise uneconomic for wood supply (03M1). Comments: The FAO recently (2000) changed the definition of "forest" to imply a minimum crown cover of 10%, down from 20%. So the above 48% is likely to be high when applied to recent estimates of global forest area.
Only 2.90 million km2 of the world's forest are protected from logging, but they are threatened by illegal exploitation (03U2).
About 2,900,000 km2 of forest are protected from logging, globally, but many are threatened by illegal exploitation (02U1). (la)
Some 25% of Queensland's rainforest (in Australia) is protected in national parks and preserves (88D1). (la)
In 10 years, no productive forests will remain, outside the 10% of Costa Rican territory in national parks and reserves (87U1). The landless are moving into these national parks in search of sustenance (87U1).
Part [A11] ~ Global Inventory~ Developing Countries ~
In 1980, 420,000 km2 of forest in 76 tropical countries were under intensive management for wood production purposes. In the same 76 countries in 2000, 1.17 million km2 of the forests in these countries are reportedly covered by a formal, nationally approved forest management plan of a duration of more than 5 years - most of these for wood production purposes (01F1). Comments: The implications of this statement in terms of sustained yield are unknown.
Preliminary results from developing countries show that, out of a total forest area of 21.28 million km2, at least 1.23 million km2 (6%), were covered by a formal, nationally approved forest management plan covering a period of at least 5 years. The total area reported to be subject to a formal or informal forest management plan is not necessarily equivalent to the total area of forest under sustainable forest management. Some areas covered by a management plan may not be under sustainable forest management (01F1).
Developing countries account for 21.23 million km2 (55%) of the world's forests, 18.5 million km2 of which is in tropical developing countries (03M1). (la)
FRA 2000 (01F1) revealed a net annual decline of forest area worldwide of 94,000 km2 between 1990-2000. Forest clearance was estimated at 146,000 km2/ year, and forest area increases at 52,000 km2/ year. Nearly all forest loss is occurring in the tropics (03M1).
Part [A12] ~ Global Inventory ~Boreal Forests ~
The Natural Resources Defense Council has a map showing the extent of the boreal forests in Canada, Russia and Europe (principally the Scandinavian Countries).
Part [A13] ~ Global Inventory ~Mangrove Forests ~
Total global area of mangroves is estimated at 15.2 million hectares (152,000 km2) as of 2005, down from 18.8 million hectares (188,000 km2) in 1980. 47% of the world's total mangrove area is found in five countries: Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and Mexico (05F1).
Over the last 25 years, 3.6 million hectares of mangroves (or about 20% of the total extent found in 1980) have disappeared worldwide. The rate of net loss of mangroves is showing signs of slowing down. From about 1850 km2 lost annually in the 1980s (-1.03% per annum), it dropped to some 1050 km2/ year (-0.67%) during 2000-2005. This reflects an increased awareness of the value of mangrove ecosystems, which has led, in turn, to the preparation of new legislation, better protection and management and, in some countries, to an expansion of mangrove areas through active planting or natural regeneration (05F1).
Part [A14] ~ Global Inventory ~ Bamboo Forests ~
The global area of bamboo forest is difficult to assess, as these species often occur as patches within forests or as clusters outside them. Preliminary findings based on reports from 30 of the main bamboo-rich countries indicate that the world's total bamboo area is about 40 million hectares (400,000 km2) -1% of global forest area. That area is increasing (05F1).
Part [A15] ~ Global Inventory ~ Growing Stock ~
(Growing Stock Inventory) The countries with the most growing stock per unit area are found in central Europe and in some tropical areas. About 202 billion m3 or 47% of the world's total growing stock is considered commercial. Higher percentages in relation to total volume are found in countries with temperate forests and lower percentages are found in countries with tropical forests (05F1).
(Growing Stock Inventory) Table 5.7 of Ref. (05F1) shows growing stock and growing stock per ha for 2005. Total global growing stock is estimated at 434 billion m3, of which about 30% is found in South America. The global average for growing stock per ha is 110 m3 per hectare. South America, with 15500 m3 per km2, and Western and Central Africa, with 18900 m3 per km2, are significantly higher than average owing to some forest-rich countries reporting high volume (Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Oceania, with 3600 m3 per km2, is significantly lower than average, but few countries are reporting in this region and its estimates are heavily influenced by Papua New Guinea. This country reported low volume per hectare because it only included trees with a DBH above 50 cm in its growing stock estimates. Most countries with well-stocked forests are found in Europe. Of the 11 countries reporting an average growing stock of more than 25,000 m3 per km2, 8 are in central Europe (05F1).
(Commercial Growing Stock Inventory) Global commercial growing stock amounts to some 202 billion m3, which represents about 47% of total growing stock. In absolute terms, Europe and North and Central America account for about 130 billion m3 or 64% of global commercial growing stock (05F1).
(Definition) FRA 2005 defines growing stock as the standing volume of trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) of at least 10 cm. (about 4 inches) (05F1).
(Growing Stock Per Unit Area) As regards growing stock per unit area, changes at the global level are not significant. At regional and sub-regional levels, however, there are more significant changes. Europe (excluding the Russian Federation) shows a net increase of 120 m3 per km2 annually for the last 15-year period. South- and Southeast Asia show a net decrease of 100 m3 per km2 annually, mainly due to a decrease in growing stock per hectare in Indonesia (05F1).
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SECTION (3-B) ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ [B1] General, [B2] Middle East, [B3] Asian Sub-continent , [B4] Southeast Asia, [B5]~Far East, [B6]~Central Asia, ~
Part [B1] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ General ~
Asia, had a net loss of 800,000 ha (8000 km2) per year in the 1990s. It reported a net gain of 1 million hectares (10,000 km2) per year during 2000-2005, primarily as a result of large-scale afforestation reported by China (05F1). Comments: China is notorious for misstating natural resource data. Also, reforestation projects in China usually fail due to aridity and peasants gathering tree sprouts for firewood.
Asia's forest areas are declining by 40,000 km2/ year (02U1).
Rainforests in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Malaysia and the islands of Indonesia, Borneo, New Guinea and the Philippines comprise 20% of the world's remaining tropical forests (92R5).
Ref. (81B1) gives a table of the distribution of forest resources in Asia by sub-region (operable closed-forest area, inoperable closed-forest area, coniferous forest area, broad-leafed forest area).
The LDCs (Less-Developed Countries) of south- and Southeast Asia contained 2,590,000 km2 of closed forest in 1973. China, Mongolia and the Koreas contained another 1.1 million km2. Since then, these forests have decreased by about 250,000 km2 (81B1).
Part [B2] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Middle East ~
Forest/ woodland resources of the 15-nation Arab state region are 0.33 ha/ capita on average (0.15 ha/ capita if Sudan and Somalia are excluded), world average = 0.75 ha/ capita (96M3).
Sub-part [B2a] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Middle East -Afghanistan ~
Forest cover: reduced to under 0.1% (Ref. 12 of (75E1)).
Sub Part [B2b] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Middle East - Lebanon ~
Forest cover around 1983 was 7% (vs. 25% around 1973) (83R1). Lebanon's total land area is 10,452 km2 (83R1). Ref. (69M1) gives a map of the surviving woodlands of Lebanon, and a history of Lebanon's deforestation.
Sub Part [B2c] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Middle East - Palestine ~
Total West Bank + Gaza area officially designated as forestland: 301 km2 in 1971, 232 km2 in 1999. Gaza forests: 42 km2 in 1971, 2 km2 in 1999 (
Part [B3] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Asian Subcontinent ~ [B3a] Bhutan, [B3b] India, [B3c] Pakistan, [B3d] Nepal, [B3e]~Tibet, [B3f] Sri Lanka,
Sub Part [B3a] ~ Forest Inventory ~ Asian Subcontinent - Bhutan ~
Forests cover in Bhutan is 64% (90F1).
Sub Part [B3b] ~ Forest Inventory ~ Asian Subcontinent - India ~
A map of India's estimated original forest cover and current forest cover is in Ref. (
Forest cover in India was 19.5% according to 1985-87 Landsat data. Total area is 3,287,797 km2. Dense forests (crown density = 40%+) cover 378,470 km2; Open forests (10-40% crown cover) cover 257,409 km2; Mangroves cover 4255 km2. Total cover = 640,134 km2 (91J2). (la)
Of India's remaining 749,000 km2 of original forest, 304,000 lack tree cover, and 100,000 have only shrubs (89P2), (89P3, p. 359 of (91J1)). (la)
India's National Remote Sensing Agency found that India's forest cover declined from 16.9% in the early 1970s to 14.1% in the early 1980s (88B1), (88P1). The FAO's 1981 study placed India's forest cover at 17.4% (88P1) -110,000 km2 too high (88B1).
Satellite surveys indicate that India's forest cover may be 11% (90M3).
Potential usable forest cover in India: 660,000 km2, mainly in mountainous regions (80R3).
India's Geographical- and Forested Areas (1985-87 Satellite Imagery) (91J2) (km2)
Sub Part [B3c] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Asian Subcontinent -Pakistan ~
Sub Part [B3d] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Asian Subcontinent -Nepal ~
Nepal's forest area: 34,000 km2 (being depleted at over 3%/ year for fuel and cattle feed) (80R3). (la) (SU2)
Sub Part [B3e] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Asian Sub-Continent -Tibet ~
In the Tibetan prefecture of Sichuan, forested area has declined from 50% in 1950 to under 8% in 1990. Timber production revenues there rose 23% in 1991 (93D1).
During 1965-1980 the change in Tibet's forested lands for the high- and middle mountain regions has been +1.8%, while the change in the Siwaliks and Terai regions (both lowland areas) has been -15.1% and -24.4%, respectively (91M3).
Sub Part [B3f] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Asian Sub-Continent -Sri Lanka ~
Forest cover in Sri Lanka around 1900 was near 100% (86U2). Forest cover in 1956 was 44%. Present forest cover is 25% (86U2) (20% (80R3)). The reduction was mainly caused by settled agriculture, shifting cultivation, and illegal wood harvests. The accelerated Mahareli River development will reduce forest cover to 16-17% (10,000 km2) (80R3).
In 1956, the total area covered by natural forest canopy in Sri Lanka was estimated to be 28,700 km2, 44% of total land area. The 1983 estimate: 17,600 km2, 26.6% of land area. In 1992, an interim estimate based on satellite imagery showed that the forest cover was 13300 km2, 20.2% of the land area (96W2). (la)
Part [B4] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia ~ [B4a] Burma (Myanmar), [B4b] Cambodia, [B4c] Indonesia, [B4d] Java, [B4e] Laos P.D.R., [B4f] Philippines, [B4g] Thailand, [B4h] Viet Nam,
Sub Part [B4a] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia - Burma (Myanmar)
Some 35-40,000 km2 of land in lower Burma were under rainforest in the mid-19th century; only 320,000 km2 were under cultivation (Ref. 12). By WWI, several thousand km2 of these kanazo rain forests of lower Burma remained (84R1).
Sub Part [B4b] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia -Cambodia ~
Current Cambodian forest cover is closer to 30-35% of total land area, with total allocations to logging companies, if approved, of 35.6% of land area (96G2).
Cambodian saw mills for local use are being closed down and local people are not permitted to cut the wood they need for fuel and other purposes (96G2).
Sub Part [B4c] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia -Indonesia ~
Two of the largest pulp and paper plants in the world are on Sumatra in Indonesia (05B1).
In 50 years, Indonesia's forest cover fell from 1.62 million km2 to 0.98 million. Almost all of the lowland tropical forests have been cleared off of Sulawesi in Indonesia. If current trends continue, the forests of Sumatra (in Indonesia) will be gone in 2005 and from Kalimantan by 2010 ("Jakarta Floods Uncover System Faults: Illegal logging, Judicial Bias Compound Indonesia's Woes," Nikkei Weekly (Japan), 2/18/02).
Indonesia's island of Sumatra has lost virtually all its lowland forests in 25 years (Reuters, 10/28/98).
Of Indonesia's total land area (1.90 million km2), 60% is in dry forest. Tidal swamps (mangrove forests), heavily eroded hill-slopes and impoverished alang-alang grassland occupy 30-35% of Indonesia (84G1).
Indonesia's original tropical forest cover was 1.22 million km2. Indonesia's current tropical forest cover is 0.53 million km2 (91W1). (la)
Indonesia's tropical moist forest cover in the late 170s was 1.24 million km2 (78M1). Most of this forest is leased to international timber corporations (78M1).
A 1993 World Bank assessment found that Indonesia's timber harvests were 50% above sustainable levels. Since then Indonesia has made plans to increase harvest levels by 57% (98A1).
Indonesia had 1.52 million km2 of forests in 1950, vs. 0.92 million km2 in 1993 (98R1). (la)
Indonesia's deforestation rate: 13,000 km2/ year in 1993 (98R1).
At the current rate of consumption, Indonesia's rainforests will be gone in four years. There are no forests left in the Philippines, and Indonesia is going down the same road, 15 years later (01U2). (SU2)
Indonesia's forest loss rate averages 20,000 km2/ year (02U1).
Sub Part [B4d] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia - Java ~
Satellite photos show as little as 12% tree cover including plantations of teak, etc. In the Solo, Brantos and Citatrum river systems of Java, forest cover is less than 10% (76E1).
Sub Part [B4e] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia - Laos P. D. R. ~
Productive forest cover in Laos P.D.R. around 1972 was 110,000 km2. Around 1992 30,000 km2 remained. 84% of Laos' forestland is unproductive, consisting of 24% closed forest, 26% brush, and 34% wasteland (92S2). (la)
In Laung Prabang in Laos, 6.5% of total forest land (1870 km2) remains in productive dense forest cover, while over 95% of the area planted to rice each year is on slash-and-burn agricultural land (92S2).
Laos P. D. R. Forest Inventory (in km2) (92S2)
Total Forest Land ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |193,000
Productive Forest Land~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 28,000
Unproductive Forest Land~ ~ ~ ~ | 47,000
Bush/fallow (after shifting Ag.)| 50,000
Waste land~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 66,000
Pine forest ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~2,000
Total Productive forest cover ~ | 30,000
Total Unproductive Forest ~ ~ ~ |163,000
Sub Part [B4f] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia -Philippines ~
Some 16% of Zamboanga del Sur in the Philippines is still forested (85O1). Comments: What was the original level?
The Philippines original tropical forest was 250,000 km2. Its current tropical forest area is 8,000 km2 (91W1).(la)
Satellite photos in the early 1970s showed the Philippines to have less than 20% forest cover (76E1).
In the Philippines, undisturbed forests containing dipterocarps (a valuable family of tall trees) covered 160,000 km2 in 1960, and 10,000 km2 around 1990 (90R1).
Cebu (island in the Philippines) retains 15 km2 of dipterocarp forest - 0.3% of its original cover (Ref. 3 of Perla Magsalay et al, Nature 373 (1995) p. 294).
Sub Part [B4g] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia -Thailand ~
Total Thailand land area: 513,100 km2. Forested area (in units of 1000 km2) is:
Thailand's forest cover was 70% in 1950, and 20% in the late 1980s (89T1).
During 1963-71, Thailand's forest cover dropped from 53% to 39% (80R3). Forested area around 1980 was under 30% - probably about 160,000 km2 (80R3).
About 70% of Thailand was rain forest in the mid-1940s. In the early 1990s was about 15% (92R1). (la)
In 1950, 2/3 of Thailand was covered with natural forest (89W1).
Thailand forest cover was 29% in 1985, vs. 19% in 1988 (90W1).
Northeast Thailand has a total land area of 170,000 km2. 14% of that is forested (88P4). Around 1960 N. E. Thailand's forest cover was 42% (91U2).
In Northern Thailand 500,000 people (out of 10.39 million) use slash-and-burn farming in the region's forests. 1985 forest cover = 50% (88P4).
Aerial and satellite photos show over 40% forest cover in Thailand's Chao Phya watershed (76E1).
Forests of northern Thailand are being cut at 5-7%/ year, mostly in mountainous regions (76E1).
Sub Part [B4h] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Southeast Asia - Viet Nam ~
Forest cover in Viet Nam in the late 1960s was 40% (25% today) (A 9/93 World Bank Study reported in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 12/30/93) In 1943, 43% was forested. Today less than 23% is forested (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources data).
Viet Nam loses 2000 km2/ year of forest out of less than 100,000 km2 remaining standing (96M1).
Vietnam's forest cover has shrunk from 44% of total land area in 1943 to 28% or 93,000 km2 today (95H1).
Part [B5] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Far East ~
Sub Part [B5a] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Far East - China ~
Since 1949, Sichuan's forest cover dropped from 19% to 6.5%. Just to the west stretch the forests of Tibet, China's last and biggest remaining old-growth woodlands. "Logging firms could easily mine Tibet's forests," (in the upper reaches of the Yangtze's watershed) said one Chinese scientist (98P1).
China's per-capita area and volume of forest amount to 20% and 12.5% respectively of the world's average("Look on Green GDP Objectively", China Economic Net, 6/30/04.).
China's original forest cover was 50% (76E1).
In 1950, forests covered 8% of China's land area of 9.6 million km2 (76E1), (93W2). In 1949, forests covered 8.6% of China (82B1).
During 1974-1981, China's forest cover decreased from 12.7 to 12.0% and the rate of decline has increased since then (86U3).
In 1980 forests covered 12.7% of China (1.2 million km2) (82B1).
Since the mid-1960s, tree planting has been China's primary means of controlling cropland erosion (82B1).
Forest cover in Yunnan Province, China, was 50% in 1950; 25% in 1977 (Ref. 9 of (94W1)).
Sub Part [B5b] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Far East - Japan ~
Forests cover 2/3 of Japan (252,630 km2 of forest cover). Growing stock is 1.215 billion m3 of softwood and 0.970 billion m3 of hardwoods (80M3). Stocking is 8,700 m3/ km2 (80M3).
Forests cover 250,000 km2, 68% of Japan's total land area. 66,600 km2 of Japan's forests are reserved as "protection" forest for national land safeguard (68A1). (la)
Part [B6] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Central Asia ~
Russian forests represent a unique range of ecosystem types including more than 70% of the world's boreal forest - coniferous woodlands that survive some of the harshest winter climates on Earth (90K3).
The Russian Federation contains the largest forest area of any nation in the world - 7.50-7.71 million km2 (92K2) (94P3) (95F2) (95A2). (la)
Some of the largest tracts of pristine temperate forest remaining in the world are in the Russian Far East (94W2) (92S1).
Forests are most common in sub-zones of taiga. Middle taiga accounts for 4.61 million km2 and southern taiga for 1.28 million km2. (About 76% of Russia's total forest area is in these two sub-zones (03I1).
Small forests (about 40,000 km2) penetrate the Arctic coast of European Russia and the tundra zone of Siberia and the Far East along river valleys. In the northern part of Russia's forest zone, treeless territories appear. South of the tundra, forest-tundra and northern taiga light forests occupy 1.43 million km2 (03I1).
Only one third of Siberian forests are accessible to commercial logging operations (94S4).
Logging contributed to a 10-20% reduction in Siberia's growing stock from 1966-88 (94S4).
Only 25% of the original forest cover remains in the southern Urals (94W2).
For the former Soviet Union as a whole it is estimated that forests and wooded land increased by 3% (226,000 km2) between 1978-88. Other estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UNFAO suggest that the increase may have been 1.5% (95F2).
Tables 13, 14, and 15 contain, respectively, annual net growth (dGS), mortality (dM), and gross growth (dTV) of all Russian forested areas, by dominant species and groups of age, for European and Asian parts and Russia totally, corresponding to the State Forest Account data of 1993 (03S5).
Table 16 (not shown here) presents the aggregated data of dGS, dM, and dTV. It apportions these figures among various economic regions of Russia and among coniferous, softwood-deciduous and hardwood-deciduous. The total totals in the lower right-hand corners of Tables 13 and 15 below are close to the total totals in the lower right-hand corner of Table 16. Mortality data can be obtained by subtracting the data in Table 13 from the data in Table 15 below (03S5).
Table 13 ~ Net Growth of Russian Forests (millions of m3/ year) (dGS) (03S5 )
Table 15 ~ Gross Growth of Russian Forests (million m3/ year) (dTV) (03S5 )
Region of|Coniferous|Deciduous Forest | Totals
Russia - | Forest ~ |Hardwood|Softwood| ~ ~ ~.
European | 494.83 ~ | ~43.18 | 253.15 | 791.16
Asian~ ~ | 785.34 ~ | ~18.30 | 278.77 |1082.41
Totals ~ |1280.17 ~ | ~61.49 | 531.92 |1873.57
Table 1 is reproduced from Ref. (03S3) . During 1961-1998 major definitions (forest fund, forest land, forested areas, etc.) have not been changed (some minor changes are indicated in the footnote to Table 1). This fact makes it possible to analyze consistently the dynamics of Russian forests for 1961-1998. Table 1 shows, during 1961-98, forested areas (closed forests) in Russia increased by 0.788 million km2, and non-forested areas decreased by 0.449 million km2. The difference between these two values is explained by natural reforestation on non-forest lands, more accurate assessments of areas during the last decades, and forest fire suppression. The growing stock on forested areas during 1961-1998 increased by 4.33 billion m3 (03S3).
Forest-Related Land Categories (millions of km2) and Growing Stock (109 m3) in Russia over time (Table 1 of (03S3)) (la)
Tables 2 and 3 (not shown here) contain dynamics of areas and growing stock of forests dominated by Major Forest Forming Species (MFFS) under state management. The MFFS data are apportioned among: coniferous, hard wood-deciduous, and soft wood-deciduous. Table 4 (below) indicates dynamics of average growing stock of the MFFS by the economic regions of the Russian Federation (03S3).
Table 4 - Growing Stock (m3/ ha) in various regions** of Russia (03S3)
The Forest Fund makes up nearly 69% of the total lands of Russia (inner waters included). 78.5% of closed canopy forests are in the Asian part of Russia, while 21.5% are in the European-Urals part. Closed-canopy forests make up 45% of the cover of Russia as a whole, and 39% of the European-Urals part. The total area of the Forest Fund on 1/1/98, was 11.79 million km2, or 69.3% of suitable lands (03S2).
Sub Part [B6a] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Central Asia - Russia ~
Boreal forests of fir, spruce and larch ("taiga") cover 6 million km2 of Russia. More than 50% has never been cut (92S1). (la)
Siberia's forests represent 51% of the world's coniferous forest volume, and 25% of the world's total inventoried wood volume (92R5).
Forested Siberian lands may represent as much as 40 Gt. of stored carbon, as compared to 80 Gt. stored in the Amazon Basin (92R5). Comments: These northern forests grow 33-50% slower than in the rest of the Soviet Union (92R5). Average diameter of mature trees in Siberia: 24 cm. (92R5).
Siberia is losing forests at a rate of much more than 2000 km2/ year (98B2).
Boreal forests cover 11% of the earth's surface and include a third of the world's forests. 70% of the world's boreal forests are in Russia (95A2). (la)
Russian forests represent a unique range of ecosystem types including over 70% of the world's boreal forest - coniferous woodlands that survive some of the harshest winter climates on Earth (90K3).
Russia's forests cover 7.7 million km2. Virtually all of these forests are boreal (95A2). (la)
Sub Part [B6b] ~ Forest Inventory of Asia ~ Central Asia - Soviet Union (former)
Total tree cover is increasing. Coniferous forests in the European part of the USSR, which are easily accessible, have been depleted (90F5).
The Russian Federation contains the largest forest area of any nation in the world - 7.50 - 7.71 million km2 (92K2) (94P3) (95F2). (la)
One third of Siberian forests are accessible to commercial logging operations (94S4).
Siberian forest cover 6.0 million km2 and represent 57% of the world's coniferous forest volume and 25% of the world's total inventoried wood volume (Ref. 2 of (92R5)). (la)
Average diameter of mature trees in Siberia: 24 cm. Average tree growth in Siberia is 2-3 times slower that in the rest of the Soviet Union (92R5).
The largest single forest tract is in Siberia, 5.5 million km2, or nearly twice as much as in Brazilian Amazonia. Its woody biomass is estimated to contain 40-60 Gt. of carbon (though only around half as much as in Amazonia), while Siberia's forest soils, detritus and litter contain another 2-3 times as much carbon (far more than in Amazonia) (96M2). (la)
For the former Soviet Union as a whole, forests and wooded land increased by 3% (226,000 km2) between 1978-88. Other estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UNFAO suggest that the increase may have been 1.5% (95F2).
Some of the largest tracts of pristine temperate forest remaining in the world are in the Russian Far East (94W2) (92S1).
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