The Economist: The state of the world's forests
THE Food & Agriculture Organisation, a UN body, estimates that the world's forests covered 4.03 billion hectares in 2010. Although the world as a whole continues to lose forests, the annual rate of deforestation in the past decade has fallen to 5.2m hectares, compared with 8.3m hectares a year between 1990 and 2000. Some large countries, including China and India, increased their forest cover between 2000 and 2010. China’s increased at an average annual rate of 1.6%, while India’s went up by 0.5% a year. Norway and Sweden have also added forests over the past decade. With forests covering nearly 70% of its area in 2010, Sweden is one of the world’s most sylvan countries. Nigeria, by contrast, has been chopping its forests down at a rate of 3.7% a year. By last year only one-tenth of its land remained forested.