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Country/area nomenclature and regional groups used in the data tables

The country/area names and order used in these tables follow standard UN practice regarding nomenclature and alphabetical listing. Data for “China” incorporate values for China (including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region) and for Taiwan Province of China. The regional groups used in these tables represent FAO's standardized regional breakdown of the world according to geographic – not economic or political – criteria.


Regional and global totals may not tally because of rounding or territories not included in the tables.


n.s. = not significant, indicating a very small value

- = not available


“Land area” refers to the total area of a country, excluding areas under inland water bodies. The source of these data is FAO (2001); they may differ slightly from those in the State of the World's Forests 2001, which used a different source. The forest cover figure for each country has been calibrated to the country's land area. Statistics on total population, population density and annual rate of population change are taken from UN (1999). Rural population data are from UN (1997).

Economic data are from World Bank (2000). The gross domestic product (GDP) per capita figure represents the GDP divided by the mid-year population. The data are in constant 1995 US dollars. The annual percentage growth rate of GDP is based on constant local currency.


These figures for 2000 represent the most current global data set available for forest area and forest area change. The source of the data is FAO (2001). In Table 2, “total forest” is the sum of natural forest plus forest plantations. Forest area change is the net change in forests and includes expansion of forest plantations and losses and gains in the area of natural forests.

In Table 3, “volume” refers to total volume over bark of living trees above 10 cm diameter at breast height. “Biomass” refers to above-ground mass of the woody part (stem, bark, branches, twigs) of trees (alive or dead), shrubs and bushes. For Europe, the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States, the stem volume for all living trees has been used for the volume figure. Some variation as to the minimum diameter applied is reported in ECE/FAO (2000).


The source of the data is the FAOSTAT release of 7 August 2002 (

“0” indicates either a true zero or an insignificant value (less than half a unit).


The source of information is the Web sites of the listed conventions and agreements:

  • CBD:


  • Kyoto Protocol:

  • CCD:

  • CITES:

  • Ramsar Convention:

  • World Heritage Convention:

In addition to the countries indicated in the table, the European Community has ratified CBD, UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and CCD.


FAO. 2001. Global forest resources assessment 2000: main report. FAO Forestry Paper No. 140. Rome (available at

International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). 2002. Annual Report for 2001. Yokohama, Japan (available at

UN. 1997. World urbanization prospects – the 1996 revision. New York.

UN. 1999. World population prospects – the 1998 revision. New York.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE)/FAO. 2000. Forest resources of Europe, CIS, North America, Australia, Japan and New Zealand (industrialized temperate/boreal countries). New York, USA and Geneva, Switzerland, UN.

World Bank. 2000. World Development Indicators 1999. Washington, DC.


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