Forest and Water Programme

More Forests for Water! FRA reports 119 million ha increase 1990-2020


 Newly released: The Key Findings ofFAO Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) 2020 

The area of forest designated primarily for soil and water protection is increasing, presenting higher growing rates during the last 10 years! An estimated 399 million ha of forest is designated primarily for the protection of soil and water, an increase of 119 million ha since 1990. The improved understanding and growing recognition of the forest–water nexus is an important contributing factor to this increase.  

ThKey Findings of FRA 2020 is a report that highlights the main global and regional results of FRA 2020including the status and trends of the world’s forest resources. According to the Key Findings of FRAforests cover nearly 1/3 of global land and more than half (54 percent) of these forests are concentrated in only five countries – the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China.  

Forests play an important role providing water-related ecosystem services, reducing erosion, preventing landslides, improving water quality, regulating streamflow and mitigating water-related disaster. The understanding of forest and water interactions, and its benefits, can enhance forest management practices and benefits from forests. To achieve this, land and water resources should be considered more holistically, and conserving soil and water resources made a higher priority in forest management. Furthermore, by improving our understanding on the forest-water nexus and reducing the gap between research and policy, it is possible to enhance and adjust policies and legislation on forests and water. 

FRA 2020 is based on data collected through a global network of National Correspondents, covering more than 60 variables from 236 countries and territories, from 1990 to 2020. In this edition, the data was reported through an innovative online platform that made reporting more transparent and easier, by decreasing countries’ reporting burden. 

For more information, check the interactive and innovative resource of the main findings from FRA 2020