Context: Food and Agriculture Organisation has come up with its Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 ( FRA 2020).


  • The FRA 2020 was released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on May 13, 2020.
  • The FRA 2020 has examined the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.

Key Findings:

  • World Level:
    • The world’s total forest area was 4.06 billion hectares (bha), which was 31 per cent of the total land area. This area was equivalent to 0.52 ha per person, the report noted.
    • The largest proportion of the world’s forests were tropical (45 per cent), followed by boreal, temperate and subtropical.
    • Ninety-three percent of the forest area worldwide is composed of naturally regenerating forests and 7 percent is planted.
    • More than 54 per cent of the world’s forests were in only five countries — the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China.
    • The world lost 178 mha of forest since 1990, an area the size of Libya.
    • However, the rate of net forest loss decreased substantially during 1990–2020 due to:
      • A reduction in deforestation in some countries, plus 
      • Increase in forest area in others through afforestation and the natural expansion of forests.
    • The rate of net forest loss declined from 7.8 mha per year in the decade 1990–2000 to 5.2 mha per year in 2000–2010 and 4.7 mha per year in 2010–2020.
  • Regional Level:
    • Among the world’s regions, Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 mha, followed by South America, at 2.6 mha.
    • On the other hand, Asia had the highest net gain of forest area in 2010–2020, followed by Oceania and Europe.
    • However, both Europe and Asia recorded substantially lower rates of net gain in 2010–2020 than in 2000–2010. 

Food and Agriculture Organisation:

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • The main goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. 
  • With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.
  • The FAO was established in 1945 and is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
  • It helps governments and development agencies coordinate their activities to improve and develop agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources. 
  • It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects data on agricultural output, production, and development.