Global Forest Resources Assessment


Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Global
Country or countries covered
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

The latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2010) covered 233 countries and areas

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

The latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2010) presented the current status of the world’s forest resources and their changes over time. The following seven broad topics were addressed:

  1. Extent of forest resources and their contribution to the global carbon cycle
  2. Forest health and vitality
  3. Forest biological diversity
  4. Productive functions of forests
  5. Protective functions of forests
  6. Socio-economic functions of forests
  7. Legal, policy and institutional framework related to forests

Mandate for the assessment

At the request of FAO's member countries the Global Forest Resources Assessments has been carried out at five to ten year intervals since 1946.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Assessing progresses towards sustainable forest management using the seven thematic elements of SFM

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

System(s) assessed

  • Forest and woodland

Species groups assessed

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Water
  • Timber/fibres
  • Medicinal resources
  • Ornamental resources
  • Energy/fuel


  • Regulation of water flows
  • Regulation of water quality
  • Erosion prevention

Supporting Services/Functions

  • Primary production

Cultural Services

  • Recreation and tourism

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started

Pre 2000

Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment


If repeated, how frequently

Approximately every five years

Assessment outputs


All the material is available on-line at :

Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Indicators

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Several expert consultations (Kotka I-V) were held throughout the FRAs to engage stakeholders in the planning and development of the assessments.

Key stakeholder groups engaged

Stakeholder involvement in FRA has tended to focus on professional foresters from the countries. NGOs, Research Institutions, Media and the private sector were also represented.

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process


Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

All data were provided to FAO by countries in the form of a country report following a standard format, which includes the original data and reference sources and descriptions of how these have been used to estimate the forest area for different points in time. (for definitions, reporting guidelines and format see Officially nominated national correspondents and their teams prepared the country reports for the assessment. For the remaining countries and territories where no information is provided, a report is prepared by FAO using existing information and a literature search. Once received, the country reports underwent a rigorous review process to ensure correct use of definitions and methodology as well as internal consistency. A comparison is made with past assessments and other existing data sources. Regular contacts between national correspondents and FAO staff by e-mail and regional/sub-regional review workshops formed part of this review process. All country reports (including those prepared by FAO) were sent to the respective Head of Forestry for validation before finalization. To complement the information collected through the reporting and to know more about forest dynamics at global, regional and biome level, FRA 2010 carried out a Global Remote Sensing Survey. More information about the survey at :

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

The information collected by the latest FRA 2010 assessment is entirely available on-line. The 233 country reports can be downloaded from the FRA webpage, in addition to the global tables and the Main Report. In order to facilitate access and improve usability of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) data, a new interactive on-line database has been developed. The database provides access to most of the information collected by FRA 2010. The main module has options to change between stub and heading (pivot function) and export/save output data in several different formats and generate simple diagrams, providing easier and more flexible access to FRA data.

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Its policy impact is felt especially at the national level, enabling each country to see where it stands in relation to other countries. FRA is also used to inform debates at the United Nations Forum on Forests, IPCC, the International Tropical Timber Organization, and the World Trade Organization. FRA 2010 contained information to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, the 2010 Biodiversity Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the four Non- Legally Binding Instruments on all Types of Forest adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. FRA also contributed to research on forest-related issues, much of which has policy relevance. Other organizations, including multilateral environmental agreements and non-governmental organizations, are able to use FRA data in their own policy development.

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Data availability and data quality are still an issue for many developing countries and the need to improve availability of forest related data has been identified.

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

Network and sharing experiences, Sharing of data/repatriation of data, Workshops, Formal training, Communication and awareness raising

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

The FRA 2010 Main Report provided a comprehensive analysis of the gaps in reporting capacity and of data availability for each of the variables of the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information