End of deforestation in view? Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources

University of Helsinki / Rockefeller University, New York

‘Growing stock’ expanding in most forested nations, even with modest prosperity

tehoste_wfAn increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover.

The novel approach looks beyond simply how much of a nation’s area is covered by trees and considers the volume of timber, biomass, and captured carbon within the area. It produces an encouraging picture of Earth’s forest situation and may change the way governments size up their woodland resources in future.

The paper, published Nov. 20 in the peer-reviewed US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was created by six experts from diverse academic disciplines (forestry, environmental technology, ecology, geography, resource economics, and agronomy) in China, Finland, Scotland, and the USA who, following independent lines of thinking, came to agree that forest transition on a major scale is underway and have now collectively demonstrated it.

Full text: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-11/uoh-eod111006.php

Coverage summary: