The statistics presented in the International Forestry chapter of this release cover:
- woodland area;
- carbon stocks;
- wood removals;
- production and apparent consumption of wood products; and
- trade in forest products.
Data sources and methodology
International data on forest area and carbon stocks are obtained from the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2015 (www.fao.org/forest-resources-assessment/en/),compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The information in Table 9.1 uses forest area from FRA 2015, excluding "other wooded land"; for the UK, this is very similar to the definition of "woodland" used in other tables.
International data on production, imports and exports are obtained from the FAO. Data are collected via the Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire for FAO and other international organisations and published on the FAOSTAT database (http://faostat3.fao.org/). Data on apparent consumption is derived as production plus imports less exports.
Data for the European Union (EU) relate to the countries that were EU members at the start of the latest year for which data are available.
The UK data on forest area and carbon stocks are as submitted by the Forestry Commission to FAO in Spring 2014. More recent estimates of UK woodland area are provided in the Chapter on Woodland Area and Planting. A copy of the full UK return for the Forest Resources Assessment is available at www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/statistics-by-topic/international-returns/forest-resources-assessment/.
The UK data on production, imports and exports are as submitted by the Forestry Commission to Eurostat in September 2016. More recent UK estimates are provided in the Chapters on UK-grown Timber and Trade. Copies of all UK returns for the Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire are available at www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/statistics-by-topic/international-returns/joint-forest-sector-questionnaire/.
International statistics compiled from FRA are subject to revision every five years, when a new collection is undertaken.
International statistics compiled from FAOSTAT may be subject to revision after publication if revisions are made to the data produced by individual countries.
Revisions to historical data have been made in the FAOSTAT database since the publication of "Forestry Statistics 2017" (Tables 9.4 to 9.6). At a global level, such revisions have been relatively minor (no more than 1% difference). There have been larger revisions for some regions, particularly in the wood production estimates for 2015. These include an upward revision of 6% to the figure for woodfuel production in Europe and a downward revision of 6% to the industrial roundwood production estimate for Asia.
The Forestry Commission’s revisions policy sets out how revisions and errors to these statistics are dealt with, and can be found at: www.forestresearch.gov.uk/documents/4355/FCrevisions.pdf.
Statistics on international forestry are reported here at a regional level. Further data (including figures for individual countries) are also available from the original sources (see above).
Statistics on forest resources are also collected every 4 years at a European level by Forest Europe. The State of Europe's Forests 2015 was released in October 2015 and is available at www.foresteurope.org/.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry (previously the UNECE Timber Committee) also collects, on an annual basis, estimates for the current year and projections for the following year of wood production, imports and exports. Results are available on the UNECE website (www.unece.org/forests/fpm/timbercommittee.html). Copies of UK returns for the UNECE Timber Forecast Questionnaire are available at www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/statistics-by-topic/international-returns/unece-timber-forecast-questionnaire/.
For information on the release schedules of statistics produced by others, see relevant websites (above).
International data on wood production and trade in 2017 will be released on 26 September 2019 in "Forestry Statistics 2019" and "Forestry Facts & Figures 2019".
Chapter 9: International Forestry