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Library Global forest land-use change 1990-2005

Global forest land-use change 1990-2005

Global forest land-use change 1990-2005

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Date of publication
November 2012
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This report presents the key findings on forest land use and land-use change between 1990 and 2005 from FAO’s 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment Remote Sensing Survey. It is the first report of its kind to present systematic estimates of global forest land use and change. The ambitious goal of the Remote Sensing Survey was to use remote sensing data to obtain globally consistent estimates of forest area and changes in tree cover and forest land use between 1990 and 2005. Overall, it found that there was a net decrease in global forest area between 1990 and 2005, with the highest net loss in South America. While forest area increased over the assessment period in the boreal, temperate and subtropical climatic domains, it decreased by an average of 6.8 million hectares annually in the tropics. The survey estimated the total area of the world’s forests in 2005 at 3.8 billion hectares, or 30 percent of the global land area. This report is the result of many years of planning and three years of detailed work by staff at FAO and the European Commission Joint Research Centre, with inputs from technical experts from more than 100 countries. Many of these contributors now constitute a valuable global network of forest remote sensing and land-use expertise.

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