The State of the World’s Forests 2022


The State of World Forests 2022 was published by Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations. It studies “forest pathways for green recovery and building inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies” and suggests three ways of doing this: halting deforestation and maintaining forests; restoring degraded lands and expanding agroforestry; and sustainably using forests and building green value chains.

The 166-page document includes six chapters: Can forests and trees provide means for recovery and inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies? (Chapter 1); Forests and trees provide vital goods and ecosystem services but are undervalued in economic systems (Chapter 2); Three interrelated forest pathways could contribute to green recovery and a transition to sustainable economies (Chapter 3); Viable options exist for scaling up investment in the forest pathways- with potentially considerable benefits (Chapter 4); Smallholders, local communities and indigenous peoples are crucial for scaling up implementation of the forest pathways (Chapter 5); The forest pathways- A means for green recovery and resilient economies?(Chapter 6).


  1. Despite making up 31 per cent of the planet's land surface (4.06 billion ha), forests are shrinking. Between 1990 and 2020, 420 million ha of forest were lost to deforestation. Rate of deforestation is decreasing, but it still affects 10 million hectares annually per year in 2015-2020.

  2. About 294 million hectares or seven per cent of the world's total forest area are planted forests. This area is increasing by a rate of under one per cent per year in 2015–2020.

  3. In 2015, over 73 per cent of the world's forests were controlled by the government, while 22 per cent were privately owned. Legally, as of 2017, local, tribal, and indigenous communities are acknowledged as the owners of at least 447 million hectares of forest.

  4. Agricultural expansion, the report states, is causing almost 90 per cent of global deforestation according to latest data.

  5. The report states that 1.5 billion hectares of the 2.2 billion ha of degraded land recognized as potentially (biophysically) available for restoration is ideal for mosaic restoration – this mixes agriculture with forests.

  6. From 9 billion tonnes in 1970 to 24 billion tonnes in 2017, the annual extraction of biomass is predicted to reach 44 billion tonnes by 2060.

  7. Forests are habitations of 80 per cent of amphibian species, 75 per cent of bird species and 68 per cent of mammal species. Moreover, tropical forests host about 60 per cent of all vascular plant species.

  8. About 80 per cent of the food produced worldwide is produced by family farmers, of whom 35 per cent own less than two hectares of land. Up to 90 per cent of forest firms are small or medium-sized businesses, and these businesses account for more than half of all jobs associated with forests.

  9. The report states that accelerating the formalisation of “customary and collective rights” of forests, which includes simplifying land registration processes, is important for protecting them.

    Focus and Factoids by Ishita Banerjee.


Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations


Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations