FRA 1980

FRA 1980 encompassed 36 countries in Africa, 16 in Asia and 23 in Latin America and the Carribean. In total 97 percent of the land area of developing countries. It was the first assessment to use a technical definition of forests, in which measurable parameters were indicated. FRA 1980 employed the following minimum criteria for defining forest (10 % canopy cover density, tree height of 7 m and area of 10 ha). The consistent definition provided parameters useful in adjusting country information to a common standard. Adjustment in time was also made using expert opinion to project the information to common reference years of 1976, 1980, 1981 and 1985. In major forested areas where existing information was lacking, the assessment conducted manual interpretations of satellite imagery. FRA 1980 based its estimates on existing documentation and information from countries. Extended narratives, explanatory text and qualitative information complemented the statistical data set.

FRA 1980 was not global. The findings of FRA 1980 were re-used in the interim global assessment 1988.


Major findings

  • Total forest area (tropical developing countries only) 1980: 2.1 billion hectares (natural forests and plantations)
  • Net forest change (tropical developing countries only) 1981-1985: -10.2 million hectares per year
  • Net forest change (global): not reported


View online:

Los recursos forestales de la America tropical
Forest resources of tropical Africa Part I
Forest resources of tropical Africa Part II

Main report:
FAO 1982 Forestry Paper 30: Tropical forest resource, by J.P. Lanly.


last updated:  Tuesday, October 7, 2014