Magazine article UN Chronicle

Forest Files

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Forest Files

Article excerpt

More than a decade of discussions on how to protect the world's forests has resulted in substantial changes in the way forests are managed. Policies and programmes to help promote sustainable forest management have been devised and have taken hold in many countries.

Forest loss is caused by a complex set of social and economic pressures. Among the major factors contributing to deforestation and forest degradation are: conversion of forests to farmland; poor forest management, including over-logging; forest fires; and increased harvesting of wood fuels and other forest products for household use.

Of the world's forests, 47% are in the tropics, 33% in the boreal zone (far north), 11% in the temperate zones and 9% in sub-tropical areas.

* Forests cover about 30% of the worlds total land area.

* Two thirds of forests are located in ten countries: the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States, China, Australia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Angola and Peru.

* Wood is the primary source of fuel in the majority of developing countries.

* It is estimated that 12% al the forests, or about 480 million hectares, are in protected area.

* Forests are a major factor in climate change. …

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