State of the World’s Forests

Updated May 8, 2019 | Infoplease Staff
Source: FAO; Natural Resources Defense Council; World Resources Institute.
  • Half of the forests that originally covered 46% of the Earth's land surface are gone. Only one-fifth of the Earth's original forests remain pristine and undisturbed.
  • In the 1990s, the world’s forested area declined by about 2.4% (90,000 sq km) per year.
  • Tropical deforestation rates, the world’s highest, are estimated at over 130,000 sq km per year.
  • The U.S. consumes 27% of the wood commercially harvested worldwide.
  • In North America, 56% of coastal temperate rainforests have been destroyed.
  • 430,000 mi of roads cut through U.S. National Forests, primarily for logging purposes.
  • Global wood consumption is projected to double over the next 30 years.

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