by: Raymond L. Czaplewski
The Forest Resources Assessment Programme
Forests are crucial for the well being of humanity. They provide foundations for life on earth through ecological functions, by regulating the climate and water resources and by serving as habitats for plants and animals. Forests also furnish a wide range of essential goods such as wood, food, fodder and medicines, in addition to opportunities for recreation, spiritual renewal and other services.
Today, forests are under pressure from increasing demands of land-based products and services, which frequently leads to the conversion or degradation of forests into unsustainable forms of land use. When forests are lost or severely degraded, their capacity to function as regulators of the environment is also lost, increasing flood and erosion hazards, reducing soil fertility and contributing to the loss of plant and animal life. As a result, the sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is jeopardized.
FAO, at the request of the member nations and the world community, regularly monitors the world’s forests through the Forest Resources Assessment Programme. The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000), reviewed the forest situation by the end of the millennium. FRA 2000 included country-level information based on existing forest inventory data, regional investigations of land-cover change processes and a number of global studies focusing on the interaction between people and forests. The FRA 2000 Main report published in print and on the World Wide Web in 2001.
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Author: Raymond L. Czaplewski, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2150 Centre Ave., Fort Collins CO 80526, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Forest Resources Assessment (Programme)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (of the United States of America)
World Resources Institute
2 On sampling for estimating global deforestation
FRA Working Papers