Global forest land-use change from 1990 to 2005: initial results from a global remote sensing survey

  • 30/11/2011
  • FAO

A new satellite-based survey released by the FAO provides a more accurate picture of changes in the world's forests, showing forest land use declined between 1990 and 2005. The findings of a global remote sensing survey show the world's total forest area in 2005 was 3.69 billion hectares, or 30 percent of the global land area. The new findings suggest that the rate of world deforestation averaged 14.5 million hectares per year between 1990 and 2005, which is consistent with previous estimates. Deforestation largely occurred in the tropics, likely attributable to the conversion of tropical forests to agricultural land.