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Annual changes in forest area

The global forest area reduced by around 7.3 million hectares (0.2%) per year between 1990 and 2000, by around 4.0 million hectares (0.1%) per year between 2000 and 2010 and by around 3.3 million hectares (0.1%) per year between 2010 and 2015 (Table 9.2).

The forest area has reduced in most regions since 1990, except for Europe (where the area increased in each time period) and Asia (where the area reduced between 1990 and 2000 but has increased by more between 2000 and 2015).

Table 9.2 Annual changes in forest area by region, 1990-2015

Region 1990-2000  2000-2010  2010-2015 
  (thousand ha) (%) (thousand ha) (%) (thousand ha) (%)
Europe            
UK 18 0.6 11 0.3 17 0.5
EU-281 681 0.5 450 0.3 369 0.2
Total Europe 803 0.1 1127 0.1 382 0.0
Africa -3537 -0.5 -3209 -0.5 -2836 -0.4
Asia -221 0.0 2349 0.4 791 0.1
North and Central America -394 -0.1 172 0.0 75 0.0
Oceania 82 0.0 -564 -0.3 304 0.2
South America -4000 -0.4 -3868 -0.4 -2024 -0.2
World -7267 -0.2 -3993 -0.1 -3308 -0.1

Source: FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.

Notes:

1. Cyprus is included in EU-28 total but is part of FAO’s Asia region.

2. UK figures for 2015 are 2013-based estimates. Revised estimates (from Chapter 1) suggest that Table 9.2 slightly under-estimates the change in forest area in the UK in the most recent time period.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics

Between 2010 and 2015, the largest decrease in forest area was in Brazil (1.0 million hectares per year on average) and the largest increase was in China (1.5 million hectares per year on average) (Figure 9.3).

Figure 9.3 Countries with largest changes in forest area, 2010-2015

fs2017fig9-3.png

Source: FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.

Notes:

1. Countries with changes of at least 0.3 million hectares per year only.

These figures are outside the scope of National Statistics

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