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Forest loss rate globally declined from 2015 to 2020: FRA 2020

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Deforestation rate globally declined between 2015 and 2020On May 13, 2020 According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment(FRA) 2020 released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), the forest loss rate in 2015-2020 has declined to an estimated 10 million hectares(mha), down from 12 mha in 2010-2015.

Major highlights of the report

Key Points

i.The world has lost 178 mha of forest since 1990, an area the size of Libya. The net rate of forest loss has decreased significantly during 1990–2020 due to a reduction in deforestation in some countries, increase in forest area in others through afforestation and the natural expansion of forests.

ii.The rate of net forest loss declined from 7.8 mha per year in the decade 1990–2000 to 5.2 mha per year in 2000–2010 and 4.7 mha per year in 2010–2020.

World regions

i.Among the world’s regions, Africa has the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 mha, followed by South America, at 2.6 mha, whereas Asia has the highest net gain of forest area in 2010–2020, followed by Oceania and Europe.

ii.Both Europe and Asia recorded substantially lower rates of net gain in 2010–2020 than in 2000–2010. Oceania has experienced net losses of forest area in the decades 1990–2000 and 2000–2010

Forest area

i.The world’s total forest area was 4.06 billion hectares(bha), which was 31% of the total land area; this area was equivalent to 0.52 ha per person.

ii.Tropical(45%) is the largest proportion of the world’s forests followed by boreal, temperate and subtropical. More than 54% of the world’s forests were in only five countries namely- Russia, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China.

iii.The forest area that naturally regenerates globally has decreased since 1990, but the area of planted forests increased by 123 mha. The rate of increase in the area of planted forest slowed in the last 10 years.

iv.Plantation forests cover about 131 mha- 3% of the global forest area and 45% of the total area of planted forests. The highest percent of plantation forests were in South America & the lowest were in Europe.

v.There is an estimated 726 mha of forests in protected areas around the world. South America had the highest share of forests in protected areas(31%). The forest area in protected areas globally increased by 191 mha since 1990, but the rate of annual increase slowed in 2010–2020.

About FAO:
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
Director General– QU Dongyu