Forest change

Deforestation continues, but at a lower rate

The world has a total forest area of 4.06 billion hectares (ha), which is 31 percent of the total land area. This area is equivalent to 0.52 ha per person

An estimated 420 million ha of forest has been lost worldwide through deforestation since 1990, but the rate of forest loss has declined substantially. In the most recent five-year period (2015–2020), the annual rate of deforestation was estimated at 10 million ha, down from 12 million ha in 2010–2015.

About 98 million ha of forest were affected by fire in 2015; this was mainly in the tropical domain, where fire burned about 4 percent of the total forest area in that year. Source: FAO FRA 2020


Credit: David Gilbert / RAN

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