This chapter contains information about world forestry, presenting global figures by region alongside data for the UK and the EU. Topics covered include woodland area, carbon stocks, wood removals, production and apparent consumption of wood products and international trade in forest products.
The data are produced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Further information on the data sources and methodology used to compile the figures is provided in the Sources chapter.
All of the statistics presented in this chapter have been previously released by the FAO. For further details on revisions, see the International Forestry section of the Sources chapter.
A copy of all International Forestry tables is available to download from the Tables for Download page.
The main findings are:
- At around 12% forest cover in 2010 (now estimated to be 13%, see Table 1.2), the UK is one of the least densely forested countries in Europe. This compares with 37% for the EU as a whole and 31% worldwide.
The global forest area reduced by around 8.3 million hectares (0.2%) per year between 1990 and 2000 and by around 5.2 million hectares (0.1%) per year between 2000 and 2010.
Carbon stocks in forest living biomass in Europe have increased in both Europe and North & Central America between 2000 and 2010, but have decreased at a global level.
- A total of 3.5 billion m3 underbark of wood was removed from global forests in 2012, of which over half (52%) was for use as woodfuel and the remaining 48% was industrial roundwood (for use by wood processors).
- Global production of wood products in 2012 totalled 400 million m3 of sawnwood, 301 million m3 of wood-based panels and 399 million tonnes of paper & paperboard.
- Europe consumed around one quarter (26%) of all sawnwood, around one quarter (24%) of the world's wood-based panels and around one quarter (23%) of all paper and paperboard in 2012.
- The UK was the third largest net importer (imports less exports) of forest products in 2012, behind China and Japan.