Global environmental data have grown in abundance in recent decades: this paper reviews this growth in respect of forests. Assessments of world forests were undertaken at intervals during the 20th century, notably by FAO. Yet data problems persist: it is impossible, for example, to compile reliable time-series data for the global forest area. Assessment was initially geared to timber resources, and adaptation to include environmental concerns was slow. While methodologies have evolved, even the most recent global forest assessment has attracted criticism. It can be argued, however, that to focus only on the product of assessments (in terms of quantitative data) is to overlook their role as process. The process is a potentially significant instrument of global forest governance. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- global forest resources assessment
- global environmental data
- forest governance
- TROPICAL DEFORESTATION
- SATELLITE DATA