Land Use Country Notes


Specific Country Notes

General Country Notes

Land use (land cover)

It should be borne in mind that definitions used by reporting countries vary considerably and items classified under the same category often relate to greatly differing kinds of land.

Definitions of land use (land cover) categories are as follows:

11 Total Area 1000ha:
the total area of the country, including area under inland water bodies. Data in this category are obtained mainly from the United Nations Statistical Division, New York. Possible variations in the data may be due to updating and revisions of the country data and not necessarily to any change of area.
31 Land Area 1000ha:
total area excluding area under inland water bodies. The definition of inland water bodies generally includes major rivers and lakes. Data in this category are obtained mainly from the United Nations Statistical Division, New York. Possible variations in the data may be due to updating and revisions of the country data and not necessarily to any change of area.
51 Agricultural Area 1000ha:
the sum of area under Elements 061 (Arable land and Permanent crops) and 131 (Permanent pastures).
61 Arable and Permanent Crops 1000ha:
Arable land and land under permanent crops shows the sum of area under Elements 071 (Arable land) and 121 (Permanent crops).
71 Arable Land 1000ha:
land under temporary crops (double-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow (less than five years). The abandoned land resulting from shifting cultivation is not included in this category. Data for "Arable land" are not meant to indicate the amount of land that is potentially cultivable.
121 Permanent Crops 1000ha:
land cultivated with crops that occupy the land for long periods and need not be replanted after each harvest, such as cocoa, coffee and rubber; this category includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees and vines, but excludes land under trees grown for wood or timber.
131 Permanent Pasture 1000ha:
land used permanently (five years or more) for herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land). The dividing line between this category and the category "Forests and woodland"; is rather indefinite, especially in the case of shrubs, savannah, etc., which may have been reported under either of these two categories.
141 Forests and Woodland 1000ha:
land under natural or planted stands of trees, whether productive or not. This category includes land from which forests have been cleared but that will be reforested in the foreseeable future, but it excludes woodland or forest used only for recreation purposes. The question of shrub land, savannah, etc. raises the same problem as in the category "Permanent meadows and pastures". In the year 1995 and onward there will be no data for this element, data relating to forest area can be obtained from the FAO Forest Resources Division.
191 Non arable and permanent crops 1000ha:
from 1995 this element includes any other land not specifically listed under elements 061 (Arable land and Permanent crops) i.e.: permanent pastures, forests and woodland, built on areas, roads, barren lands, etc.


The following are specific country notes pertaining to land-use (land-cover) categories:

Bulgaria: starting in 1998 the country has adopted a different methodology for the calculation of the land use data.

Finland: starting in 2000 the "Permanent Pastures" category refers only to in use natural meadows and grazing land.

Greenland: "Total area" refers to area free from ice.

New Zealand: the "Permanent Crops" category includes planted production forests on farms.

Russian Federation: data on "Total area" exclude the portion of land under the White Sea and the Azov Sea.

Switzerland: data from 1992, with the exception of "Total area" are not comparable with those of the previous years because of a new statistical method recently applied by the country.

Ukraine: data on "Total area" exclude the portion of land under the Azov Sea.

USSR: data on "Total area" include the White Sea (9 million hectares) and the Azov Sea (3.73 million hectares). Data on arable land and land under permanent crops and on permanent meadows and pastures refer to the land being used by agricultural undertakings and farms, i.e. excluding State land reserves and areas belonging to nonagricultural undertakings.


051 Irrigated Area 1000ha:
data on irrigation relate to areas equipped to provide water to the crops. These include areas equipped for full and partial control irrigation, spate irrigation areas, and equipped wetland or inland valley bottoms.

The following are specific country notes:

China: data on irrigated area cover farmland only (area under orchard and pastures are excluded).

Cuba: data refer to State sector only.

Japan; Korea, Republic of; Sri Lanka: data refer to irrigated rice only.


Anguilla: data for Anguilla are included with those of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Cyprus: as a result of the present situation in Cyprus, data refer to the government controlled area only, except for total area and Population where data refer to all Cyprus.

Czech Republic, Slovakia: starting in 1993, these independent republics, formerly Czechoslovakia, are shown separately.

Eritrea, Ethiopia: starting in 1993, Eritrea and Ethiopia, formerly Ethiopia PDR, are shown separately.

Independent republics of the USSR: starting in 1992, the independent republics Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are shown separately in Asia, while Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are shown separately in Europe. Data before 1992 are shown under USSR.

Independent republics of Yugoslavia SFR: Starting in 1992, the independent republics Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia are shown separately. Data for the years prior to 1992 are shown under Yugoslavia SFR.

India and Pakistan: Data relating to KashmirJammu, whose final status has not yet been determined, are generally included under India and excluded from figures for Pakistan. Data for Sikkim are included under India.

Pacific Islands: Until 1994 this heading includes data for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. Starting in 1995 data for these Republics are shown separately.

Saint Helena: Data for Saint Helena include those for Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.