Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009
The World’s Forests
Remaining and Lost
Original forest cover
Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009
The World’s Forests
Remainin...
Current forest cover
Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009
The World’s Forests
Remaining...
Current forest cover
Formerly forest, now croplands
Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 200...
Current forest cover
Formerly forest, now croplands
Formerly forest, now pasture
Source: World Resources Institute / South...
Working Forest Landscapes
Formerly forest, now croplands
Formerly forest, now pasture
Intact Forest Landscapes
Source: Wor...
Working Forest Landscapes
Formerly forest, now croplands
Formerly forest, now pasture
Intact Forest Landscapes
Tropical de...
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WRI (high res.map)- Global Forest Cover Map

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The World's Forests from a Restoration Perspective . Source: WRI

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  • Forests once covered almost twice the area that they do today. Large expanses have been converted or degraded to produce food, timber, and energy. More than three quarters of the world’s forests have been cleared, fragmented, or degraded. The loss is continuing at a rapid rate. Just one fifth of the world’s original forest cover remains in large tracts of relatively undisturbed forest.
    Yesterday’s loss, however, can be tomorrow’s gain. Forests can recover. Some of the lost forests can be restored. And as forest landscapes recover, climate and other benefits will grow with the trees.
    Not all converted or degraded forests are suitable for restoration. Some of the world’s most productive agricultural lands are former forests, and significant areas that were once covered by trees have been converted to urban and industrial uses. But vast areas of marginally productive lands and pastures could grow trees once more and be part of multifunctional forest landscapes.
    The map is based on published research and presents a globally consistent picture, based on the same definitions and data collection methods for the entire world.
    The world’s original forest cover is the maximum extent of forests after the latest glaciation (which took place some 8,000 years ago), based on an assessment of climate and soils.
    Current forest cover is the area where forests grow today, based on an analysis of satellite images. (Continuous Vegetation Fields dataset of University of Maryland/South Dakota State University)
    The extent of historical deforestation is the difference between original and current forest cover. This former forest landscape is mainly used either as cropland or as pasture land. (Global Land Cover Map from the European Commission Joint Research Centre, 2003).
    The extent of recent tropical deforestation is shown based on an analysis of satellite images. (Hansen, et al., 2008).
    An intact forest landscape is a part of today’s forest that remains a large, unbroken expanse of natural ecosystems without signs of significant human activity (at least 50,000 hectares is size). Intact forest landscapes were mapped using Landsat satellite imagery representing the year 2000. (Potapov, et al., 2008).
    For more information, visit:
    http://www.wri.org/ideas-transform-landscapes
  • WRI (high res.map)- Global Forest Cover Map

    1. 1. Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
    2. 2. Original forest cover Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
    3. 3. Current forest cover Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
    4. 4. Current forest cover Formerly forest, now croplands Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
    5. 5. Current forest cover Formerly forest, now croplands Formerly forest, now pasture Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
    6. 6. Working Forest Landscapes Formerly forest, now croplands Formerly forest, now pasture Intact Forest Landscapes Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
    7. 7. Working Forest Landscapes Formerly forest, now croplands Formerly forest, now pasture Intact Forest Landscapes Tropical deforestation 2000-2005 Source: World Resources Institute / South Dakota State University, 2009 The World’s Forests Remaining and Lost
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