The updated data of Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA)’s 2010 remote sensing survey released on the occasion of the International Day of Forests confirm that forest areas continue to decline globally, with the biggest losses of tropical forests occurring in South America and Africa. Improving information on forest resources is a key factor in halting illegal deforestation and forest degradation, said Food and Agriculture Organisation.
Most of the data was provided by the USGS Landsat Global Land Survey, which is composed of the best Landsat satellite images acquired closest to the target years of 1990, 2000 and 2010. Landsat imagery was used as the primary source of data because its global coverage, long time series, spectral characteristics and 30 m spatial resolution made it suitable for the detection of tree cover and change in tree cover over time. The Landsat imagery for all samples and the sample locations (in Google Earth and GIS formats) are available on FRA”s remote sensing portal.
This is the first consistent survey to show the changes in forest land use for those four main ecological domains over the past 20 years. The new assessment of changes in the world”s forests shows the decline of forest land use between 1990 and 2010.