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Library Forest Ecology and Management. Science to Sustain the World’s Forests

Forest Ecology and Management. Science to Sustain the World’s Forests

Forest Ecology and Management. Science to Sustain the World’s Forests

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November 2015
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This paper introduces a Special Issue of Forest Ecology and Management that includes a collection of analytical results from the 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2015) covering 25 years of forest change (1990–2015). FRA 2015 builds on a series of global assessments that began in 1948 and covers change in forest area and type, volume, biomass and carbon stocking, measures of sustainable forest management, biodiversity and conservation, soil and water protective functions, wood production and a number of socio-economic variables. It covers 234 countries and territories with an emphasis on forest resource change over a twenty-five year period (1990–2015) and also looks forward to anticipated forest change – both as government targets for forest area and projected change (to 2030) to global production and conservation forest area (to the year 2050). This paper describes important contributions of global forest resource estimates to forest management, the methods used in the collection and analysis of FRA 2015 data and provides links to additional information resources. It discusses some of the limitations of this global dataset, some of the steps taken to improve quality and the characteristics that make this type of global data most useful. While forest area change dominates public use of the FRA, the state of the forest resource and management is critical to understanding the ecological and social values of the forest and forestry. Country level reporting not only provides insights that are only possible through national reporting but also provides greater national-level understanding and discussion of forest resource change. The papers that follow in this Special Issue provide analyses of FRA 2015 data covering a wide range of topics related to sustainable forest management and forest change.

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