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Nov 1, 2010
Global Deforestation

 

The world’s total forest area is just over 4 billion hectares (15,444,086 sq. mi.) or 31% of the total land area. The net loss of forests (when the sum of all gains in forest area is smaller than all losses) for 2000-2010 period was 5.2 million hectares (20,077 sq. mi.) per year. An area about the size of Costa Rica.

The extent of forest resources is the first measure of sustainable forest management. It relates to the overall goal of maintaining adequate forest resources.

Area of permanent forest estate

The area of permanent forest estate indicates the area of forest designated to be retained as forest. As such, trends in this variable over time are a better indicator of progress towards sustainable forest management than trends in the total forest area in countries where certain forest areas have been set aside for future conversion to other uses (e.g. agriculture, infrastructure or urban expansion) through a transparent and technically sound decision-making process.

FRA 2010 was the first time countries were asked to report on the area of permanent forest estate and some countries clearly had difficulties identifying the equivalent designation in their national classification systems. Nevertheless, a total of 122 countries, together accounting for 84 percent of the total forest area provided information on this variable. At the global level, an estimated 52 percent of the total forest area is designated as permanent forest estate or its equivalent in 2010.

A number of countries were unable to provide a full data series (for 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2010). However, information from 107 countries and areas (representing 77 percent of the world’s forests) indicates that the permanent forest estate increased by almost 15 million hectares per year in the 1990s and close to 10 million hectares per year since 2000.

Area of forest with a management plan

The area of forest with a management plan provides another indication of progress towards sustainable forest management, although it must be noted that areas without a plan – including inaccessible areas – may also be conserved and sustainably managed, while the mere existence of a plan does not provide assurance that the plan is sound, is being implemented, or has the intended effect.

A total of 121 countries, representing 79 percent of the global forest area, reported on this variable. These reports indicate that at least 1.6 billion hectares of forest are covered by a management plan with a duration of ten years or more. Information on trends over time was more limited with a full data series only available for 94 countries and areas, covering 64 percent of the world’s forests.

However, there was a clear increasing trend in the area of forest with a management plan in all regions and subregions over the last 20 years. Particularly noteworthy is the rapid increase in this area over the last ten years, primarily in East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Area of forest under sustainable forest management

FRA 2010 is the first time countries have been asked to provide an estimate of the area of forest considered to be under sustainable forest management in the FRA process.

Because there is no agreed definition or assessment methodology, this was considered a pilot assessment and countries were also asked to provide the definition, criteria and method used to assess the area under sustainable forest management. The purpose of this pilot was to obtain information on how countries might define and assess this indicator as an input to future discussions on the topic at subregional, regional and global levels, in anticipation of the need for countries to report on it as part of the assessment of progress towards the Global Objectives on Forests by 2015.

Where countries did not have established assessment criteria, it was suggested that they might wish to use or adapt those applied by ITTO in its assessment of the Status of Tropical Forest Management (ITTO, 2006), which were as follows:

Forest areas that fulfill any of the following conditions:

have been independently certified or in which progress towards certification is being made;

have fully developed, long-term (ten years or more) forest management plans with firm information that these plans are being implemented effectively;

are considered as model forest units in their country and information is available on the quality of management;

are community-based forest management units with secure tenure for which the quality of management is known to be of high standard;

are protected areas with secure boundaries and a management plan that are generally considered in the country and by other observers to be well managed and that are not under significant threat from destructive agents.”

Although this was not an easy task, 104 countries and areas, together accounting for 62 percent of the world’s forests provided estimates of the area under sustainable forest management for 2010, and 110 countries covering 81 percent of the global forest area provided an estimate for at least one point in time. Unfortunately, they did not all provide information on the definition, assessment criteria and method used.

Due to differences in definitions, it is not possible to compare the results by country or to generate regional or global totals and no attempts have been made to do so. The 82 countries that provided a full data series clearly indicated a positive trend in the total forest area considered to be under sustainable forest management.

A separate publication (FAO, 2010c) provides a more detailed analysis of the definitions, assessment criteria and methods applied by countries.

PROGRESS TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

To obtain a broad picture of progress towards sustainable forest management, a subset of indicators was selected for each of the seven thematic elements of sustainable forest management and data on trends were compiled and compared at global, regional and subregional levels across the seven themes. The results are summarized below and illustrated in Tables 1 and 2.

Key aspects of sustainable forest management

The Non-legally Binding Instrument on all Types of Forests, the most recent agreement related to forests, lists the following seven thematic elements of sustainable forest management and suggests that member states should consider these as a reference framework:

Extent of forest resources

Forest biological diversity

Forest health and vitality

Protective functions of forest resources

Productive functions of forest resources

Socio-economic functions of forests

Legal, policy and institutional framework

Countries and areas included in FRA 2010

A total of 233 countries and areas are included in FRA 2010. This is based on the list used by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) (United Nations, 2010a). Four reporting units included in the UNSD list were excluded from FRA 2010:

1. Aaland Islands (included under Finland);

2. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (included under China);

3. Macao Special Administrative Region of China (included under China);

4. Channel Islands (listed separately as Guernsey and Jersey in FRA 2010). Compared with FRA 2005, four reporting units were excluded from FRA 2010 (British Indian Ocean Territory, Channel Islands, Serbia and Montenegro, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) and eight were added (Guernsey, Jersey, Montenegro, Norfolk Islands, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin (French part), Serbia, and Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands).

For each of the 233 countries and areas a country report has been prepared and issued as an FRA 2010 working paper.

A further breakdown was created to provide more detail for three of the regions:

Africa, Asia, and North and Central America. Each of these regions is divided into three subregions, bringing the total number of reporting groups to 12.2 The subregional divisions are somewhat arbitrary, but are intended to represent areas with similar environmental and socio-economic conditions. Table 1.2 summarizes key statistics for the regions and subregions, and Figure 1.1 provides a graphic illustration of the countries included in each.

The Scope of FRA 2010

FRA 2010 Reporting Tables

Seventeen reporting tables were developed to address the thematic elements of sustainable forest management (Table 1.1). The tables, including variables and definitions, ere subject to intensive review by the FRA advisory group and national correspondents. Detailed specifications of the tables, variables and definitions, as well as the guidelines for reporting, are available online in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian (FAO, 2007b,c,d). Countries were asked to provide information for the 17 tables for four points in time: 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2010 with the exception of a few variables for which forecasting to 2010 was inappropriate).

Countries and areas included in FRA 2010

A total of 233 countries and areas are included in FRA 2010. This is based on the list used by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) (United Nations, 2010a). Four reporting units included in the UNSD list were excluded from FRA 2010:

1. Aaland Islands (included under Finland);

2. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (included under China);

3. Macao Special Administrative Region of China (included under China);

4. Channel Islands (listed separately as Guernsey and Jersey in FRA 2010).

Compared with FRA 2005, four reporting units were excluded from FRA 2010 (British Indian Ocean Territory, Channel Islands, Serbia and Montenegro, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) and eight were added (Guernsey, Jersey, Montenegro, Norfolk Islands, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin (French part), Serbia, and Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands).

For each of the 233 countries and areas a country report has been prepared and issued as an FRA 2010 working paper.

Regions and subregions

Reporting for FRA 2010 is broken down into six regions. These regions are the same as those used in other FAO publications, including FRA 2005, and follow wellestablished delineations. However, because of the difference in size of individual countries, his breakdown means that the results in some regions are dominated by one or a few countries. The Russian Federation is included in Europe and dominates those statistics; he Caribbean and Central America are combined with North America and tend to be overshadowed by Canada and the United States of America; Brazil dominates the regional results from South America, and Australia those from Oceania.

A further breakdown was created to provide more detail for three of the regions:

Africa, Asia, and North and Central America. Each of these regions is divided into three subregions, bringing the total number of reporting groups to 12.2 The subregional divisions are somewhat arbitrary, but are intended to represent areas with similar environmental and socio-economic conditions. Table 1.2 summarizes key statistics for the regions and subregions, and Figure 1.1 provides a graphic illustration of the countries included in each.

The Process

FRA 2010 started with the Kotka V Expert Consultation on Global Forest Resources Assessments in June 2006 (FAO, 2006a) and so far has taken four years to implement (Figure 1.2). The outputs include the release of the key findings and the 233 reports (March 2010) and the launch of the present report in October 2010. The results of the global remote sensing survey and the special studies will be released during 2011.

FRA 2010 was coordinated by the Global Forest Assessment and Reporting Team at FAO headquarters in Rome. Six staff members, including project and administrative staff, were engaged full time throughout the country reporting process and acted as focal points for each region in order to facilitate communications between the national correspondents and FAO.

In some instances, the value for the Russian Federation differs substantially from that for the rest of Europe. n these cases the results for ‘Europe excluding the Russian Federation’ are shown separately from results for Europe as a whole in order to highlight the variation in the region.

In line with recommendations from Kotka V and COFO 2007, FAO requested countries to officially nominate a national correspondent to the FRA 2010 process.

The response to this request has been very strong from practically all countries. At present, 178 national correspondents are confirmed. These correspondents, and their respective professional networks in the countries, represent a tremendous strength of the FRA 2010 process, and were responsible for coordinating inputs and preparing country reports according to a standard format in English, French or Spanish.

A training session, attended by 265 forest assessment specialists, including representatives from 154 countries and 14 key forest-related organizations, was held in March 2008 in Rome, and detailed guidelines, specifications and reporting formats were provided.

The reporting format required countries to provide the full reference for original data sources and an indication of the reliability of the data for each of these, as well as definitions of terminology. Separate sections in these reports deal with analysis of data, including any assumptions made and the methodologies used for estimations and projections of data to the four reference years (1990, 2000, 2005 and 2010); calibration of data to the official land area as held by FAO; and reclassification of data to the classes used in FRA 2010. Comments attached to the tables yield additional information, particularly where countries have experienced difficulty in matching national classes to those used in FRA 2010.

Regional focal points at FAO headquarters and its regional and subregional offices were in regular contact with national correspondents throughout the process. A list of frequently asked questions were provided on the FRA 2010 web site to further facilitate the reporting process.

Once received, the draft country reports underwent detailed reviews to ensure completeness and correct application of definitions and methodologies – including the reclassification of national data into the FRA 2010 classification system. Internal consistency was checked and a comparison made with information provided for FRA 2005, the FAO/UNECE/ITTO/Eurostat Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire and other published sources of information.

A total of ten regional and subregional workshops were held to review the draft reports. These workshops provided an opportunity to share experiences and to address specific questions and issues related to data availability and interpretation. The final reports are thus the result of an iterative process and a collaborative effort.

The data were then entered into FAO’s Forestry Information System-FORIS and global tables were generated. Subject specialists at FAO analyzed these tables and prepared subregional, regional and global overviews for each topic of the main report.

Before publishing the key findings and the global tables, all country reports were sent to the head of forestry in the respective country for final validation.

For FRA 2010, information was sought on the current status and changes over time (1990, 2000, 2005 and 2010) of the following six variables related to the extent of forest resources:

Area of 'forest’ and ‘other wooded land’. Countries were also encouraged to      provide information on ‘other land with tree cover'.

Characteristics of forests according to three classes: primary forests,  other naturally regenerated forests and planted forests. For the latter two,  countries were also asked to provide data on the area of forest composed of    introduced species.

Area of selected forest types: mangroves, bamboo and rubber plantations.

Standing volume of wood, i.e. the total growing stock in forests and other wooded land, and its composition.

Forest biomass.

Carbon stock contained in woody biomass, dead wood, litter and forest soils.

The Outputs

In addition to the present report, other major outputs of FRA 2010 include:

• Country reports. A total of 233 detailed reports have been prepared, listing the data sources and original data, and describing the methodologies used for estimation, forecasting and reclassification, as well as any assumptions made. These reports are available on the FAO Forestry web site

 http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/fra2010/en/

• An interactive database. All data have been entered into a database and a user interface has been deployed for easy retrieval of these statistics. Available on the FAO Forestry web site.

• Global tables. A set of 40 global tables have been compiled based on the information provided by the countries. Twenty of these can be found in Global Tables below. The full set is available on the FAO Forestry web site.

• Key findings. The key findings of FRA 2010 were released in March 2010 (FAO, 2010a). A flyer describing these is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian on the FAO web site or in hard copy upon request.

• A global remote sensing survey. Together with key partner organizations and with the involvement of remote sensing specialists in around 150 countries, a global remote sensing survey of forests is being carried out as part of FRA 2010. Results are expected at the end of 2011. Box 2.3 in Chapter 2 describes this survey in greater detail.

• Special studies. A number of thematic studies provide complementary information on specific topics: forest degradation; trees outside forests; forests, poverty and livelihoods; forest genetic resources; and forests and forestry in small islands. Each of these studies involves additional specialists and will be published separately.

• Working papers. A number of FRA working papers have been prepared as part of the FRA 2010 process. They can be found at  http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/2560/en/

Global Tables

http://foris.fao.org/static/data/fra2010/FRA2010_Report_1oct2010.pdf

Contents Page

1. Basic data on countries and areas 218

2. Extent of forest and other wooded land 2010 224

3. Trends in extent of forest 1990–2010 229

4. Forest ownership and management rights 2005 234

5. Primary designated functions of forest 2010 240

6. Forest management and legal status 2010 245

7. Forest characteristics 2010 250

8. Trends in extent of primary forest 1990–2010 256

9. Trends in extent of planted forests 1990–2010 261

10. Growing stock in forest and other wooded land 2010 266

11. Trends in carbon stock in living forest biomass 1990–2010 272

12. Area of forest affected by fire and other disturbances 2005 277

13. Trends in removals of wood products 1990–2005 283

14. Value of wood and NWFP removals 2005 289

15. Employment in forestry 1990–2005 294

16. Forest policy and legal framework 2008 299

17. Human resources within public forest institutions 2000–2008 304

18. Forest education and research 2008 309

19. Forest revenue and public expenditure on forestry 2005 315

20. Status of ratification of international conventions and 321

      agreements as of 1 January 2010

Resource

http://foris.fao.org/static/data/fra2010/FRA2010_Report_1oct2010.pdf

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Posted: Nov 1, 2010 2:12pm

 

 
 
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