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Forest area as a percentage of total land area

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2008

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Partners

Fao

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Contact point

Leticia Pina: leticia.pina@fao.org

Indicator description

Information on the extent of forests is regularly collected and analysed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) through its Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA).

The extent of forests is a baseline variable which provides an indication of the relative extent of forests in a country.

According to the FAO definitions, Forest is defined as: “land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use”. Total land area is the total surface area of a country less the area covered by inland waters, like major rivers and lakes. The indicator is expressed as percent.

Related Aichi Targets

Primary target

5

Target 5:

By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

Primary target

5

Target 5:

By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

5

Related SDGs

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Target 15.1| Official indicator

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.

Target 15.2| Relevant indicator

By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

Other related MEAs and processes

Cites high resolution

CITES

Target 3.1| Relevant indicator

Cooperation between CITES and international financial mechanisms and other related institutions is enhanced in order to support CITES-related conservation and sustainable development projects, without diminishing funding for currently prioritized activiti

Cms logo blue4c

CMS

Target 11| Relevant indicator

Migratory species and their habitats which provide important ecosystem services are maintained at or restored to favourable conservation status, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities , and the poor and vulnerable.

Indicator icon

IPBES Global Assessment Chapters

Chapter 2| Official indicator

Status and trends; indirect and direct drivers of change

Chapter 3| Official indicator

Progress towards meeting major international objectives related to biodiversity and ecosystem services

Chapter 3| Relevant indicator

Progress towards meeting major international objectives related to biodiversity and ecosystem services

Indicator icon

IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

Chapter 2| Relevant indicator

Nature’s benefits to people and quality of life

Chapter 3| Relevant indicator

Status, trends and future dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems underpinning nature’s benefits to people

Cites high resolution

CITES

Cms logo blue4c

CMS

Indicator icon

IPBES Global Assessment Chapters

Indicator icon

IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

Cms logo blue4c
Indicator icon
Indicator icon
Cites high resolution

Themes

Bip terrestrial

Terrestrial habitats

View related indicators >
Bip terrestrial

Partners

Fao

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2008

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Indicator description

Information on the extent of forests is regularly collected and analysed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) through its Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA).

The extent of forests is a baseline variable which provides an indication of the relative extent of forests in a country.

According to the FAO definitions, Forest is defined as: “land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use”. Total land area is the total surface area of a country less the area covered by inland waters, like major rivers and lakes. The indicator is expressed as percent.

Contact point

Leticia Pina: leticia.pina@fao.org

Graphs / Diagrams

Figure 1.

Current storyline

Information on the extent of forests is regularly collected and analysed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) through its Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA).

The extent of forests is a baseline variable which provides an indication of the relative extent of forests in a country.

According to the FAO definitions, Forest is defined as: “land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use”. Total land area is the total surface area of a country less the area covered by inland waters, like major rivers and lakes. The indicator is expressed as percent.

The trends in forest area change at subregional level reveal variations that are masked at the regional/global scale. Progress across the subregions is mixed, Latin America & the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa together with South-eastern Asia accounted for the largest losses in forest area but the rate of loss has decreased significantly. Eastern Asia accounted for the largest gains, followed by Southern Asia.

Figure 2.

Most of the forest converted to other land uses between 1990 and 2015 was in the tropical climatic domain, which has shown losses in every measurement period since 1990. In the temperate domain, forest area has increased in every measurement period, while there has been relatively little change in the boreal and subtropical climatic domain.

Figure 3.


Figure 4. Forest area as a proportion of land area as of 2015.


Figure 5. Countries with a stable forest area and forest area gains and losses from 1990 to 2015.

Data and methodology

Coverage: Global, national, regional.

Scale: Aggregated from national data.

Time series available: 1990-2015.

Next planned update: 2020.

Possible disaggregations: Regional level, national level.

Metadata used: FAO Forest Resource Assessment.

Methodology: Since 2005, the backbone of FRA is the country reporting process, where the best available and most recent information from all countries and territories is compiled.

FAO FRA is therefore requesting all countries to elaborate and submit a comprehensive report following a standardized format and methodology. Country reports are compiled by officially nominated National Correspondents and submitted to FAO. Country reports then undergo a review by a team of reviewers and, once the review is completed, countries are asked to confirm the report before it is published.

The data is available for 234 countries. For additional information, please see: http://www.fao.org/forest-resources-assessment/background/national-correspondents/en/

Data on forest area change and many other variables is collected at a national level and then aggregated in categories. The main categories used for the analyses in FRA 2015 are regions and subregions, climatic domains (tropical, subtropical, temperate and boreal) and income categories (the World Bank income categories as of July 2013 were used).

National use of indicator

The Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA) is based on two primary sources of data: Country Reports prepared by National Correspondents and remote sensing that is conducted by FAO together with national focal points and regional partners. Data are collected and validated at country level.

A number of guidance materials are available for national indicator developers, including:

  • Terms and definitions
  • FRA Country Report templates
  • Guide for country reporting for FRA 2015

These can be found at: http://www.fao.org/forest-resources-assessment/en/.

FRA works with data sent by the National Correspondents, who are officially nominated by countries. Data are collected and validated at country level. The FRA 2015 collected data since 1990.

To access the dataset and the Country Reports please visit: http://www.fao.org/forest-resources-assessment/current-assessment/country-reports/en/.

Further resources

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2008

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Partners

Fao

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Contact point

Leticia Pina: leticia.pina@fao.org