Deforestation trends

Looking at the Top Search enquiries that bring people to these blog pages “deforestation” & “deforestation trends” or “data” are topics that score highly (although admittedly the blog receives few search enquiries…). I’m more interested myself in the drivers of deforestation, and seeking policy solutions and, as appropriate, those economic instruments that might change the incentives to clear forests or make their management more viable, whether by local communities or companies. But nonetheless here are the results of my own search for more information on deforestation:

First stop, the Beeb on the trends in the Amazon: clear and concise data, and good graphics too. This is an exemplary example of how to get the data and arguments across.

Next: FAO Forestry “Facts and Figures” which is not the most imaginative site but it gives an overview of trends and you can follow the source (the FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005), which can be downloaded – – and includes the global spreadsheet, with data on a country basis, which is really useful if you need to analyse the data yourself:

MONGABAY.COM provide the same data, but presented more attractively, plus lots of other information and news updates. For example, the tropical deforestation data here.

CIFOR host a Forest Spatial Information Catalog (sic)  a “one-stop access to spatial publications, maps and other documents that will simplify the ability of all levels of visitors to find forestry related data“, which does seem comprehensive; however, the site does not appear to have been updated recently, and I cannot get the maps to open. Much of the data is sourced from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

WWF have lots of in-depth information on different forest ecosystems, for example here on tropical & subtropical moist forests, with downloadable images and maps (see for example, below), and detailed descriptions of each “ecoregions” (within which there are further sources to explore).

Remember that deforestation is very much open to interpretation, see for example my earlier post.

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1 thought on “Deforestation trends”

  1. Your post is a worthy as well as rare attempt to consolidate lots of international forest oriented information resources…

    I’ve been studying forest news and blogs world-wide every day for three years and your the first one I’ve actually run across who has summarized some of the primary online sources for deforestation data / material…

    More to the point I encourage you to produce more writings with a similar frame…. It’s unique, needed and of great benefit to the Earth’s Trees!

    Be well, Deane

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