Forest Cover Loss
This indicator shows the trend in percent loss of gross forest cover (i.e., deforestation) for the years 2000-2012, the average annual percent loss of gross forest cover during this time period, as well as the 2000 forest cover as a baseline.
By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.
The percent loss of gross forest cover ranges from 0-100%, and higher value indicate quicker loss of forest cover (i.e., higher pressure to habitat). The forest cover baseline ranges from 0-100%, with higher value indicating greater forest cover available to provide habitat.
This indicator is available at the site (protected areas), basin and country scales globally, and regional scale for the Tropical Andes, African Great Lakes, and Greater Mekong regions.
The percent of forest cover is available for the year 2000 as a baseline.
The percent loss of gross forest cover (i.e., deforestation rate) is available annually for the years 2000-2014, as well as the average annual percent loss of gross forest cover during this time period.
The total percent loss and gain of forest cover from 2000 to 2014 are available.
The forest cover indicator is derived from the product of University of Maryland Global Forest Change 2000-2014 (Hansen et al., Science 2013, and data annual updates) which mapped global forest extent and change from 2000 to 2014 using Landsat imagery, at 30 meters spatial resolution. The source data provides information by pixel on tree canopy cover for the year 2000, forest loss and gain during the period 2000-2014, the year of the gross forest cover loss event, and other supporting layers.
Based on the source data, for each analysis unit (e.g., basin, country, and region) we calculated a mean value for i) forest cover of a percent of total land area in 2000, with forest cover defined as areas with at least 25% cover of trees at least 5 meters in height, ii) percent of gross forest cover loss annually for the years 2000-2014, and iii) total percent of forest cover loss and gain from 2000 to 2014. We then derived the average annual percent gross loss of forest cover for 2000-2014 for each analysis unit. The percentages were calculated using 2000 forest cover as a baseline.
NatureServe and AidData/College of William and Mary disaggregated the source data to multiple spatial scales to generate this indicator
To our knowledge, the Global Forest Change data provide the best globally consistent spatial representation of forest cover change at fine resolution to date, while the dataset itself does not show the change of other ecosystem vegetation types which could be important habitat in many regions, such as natural grassland, wetlands, shrubs, etc..
Regarding the forest cover gain, note that the value represents simply the transition from a no tree cover state to a tree cover state; therefore, neither the longer-lived regrowing stands of tree cover that did not begin as non-forest in 2000, nor the areas of slow regrowth that did not meet the 5m canopy cover threshold from a non-treed state within the study period were mapped as forest gain.
In this indicator, forest degradation was not quantified, and forest structures were not classified.
Furthermore, in our analysis the forest cover was defined as areas with at least 25% tree cover globally. The definition of forest in general varies among countries.
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More information about this indicator is available by contacting us.
For additional information about the source data, please see the article by Hansen et al., 2013: Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. "High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change." Science 342 (15 November): 850-53.
Source data are available on-line from http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest.