A Global Forest Cover Data Set from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC)
Entry ID: Global_Forest_Cover

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Summary
Abstract: Mounting global concern over the conservation status of the world's
biodiversity, especially at ecosystem and species levels, has led
tocalls for increasing the extent of protected areas and for
identifying priority areas for conservation. Although most decisions
to establish protected areas are made at the national level,
international perspectives are necessary both to assess the status of
ecosystems occurring in more than one country and to target the use
ofinternational resources. Species and ecosystems are not contained by
political boundaries, and international cooperation is essential to
ensure their preservation.

One means of establishing priorities for conservation is analysis of
the degree to which existing networks of protected areas are
representative of the full range of ecosystems and species. At the
national level, detailed ecosystem or vegetation classifications can
provide a basis for assessing the representativeness of the existing
protected areas network. Provided that the data are available it is
also possible to carry out a study of this nature on aglobal level. Up
until now the data were not available.

Several studies have highlighted the status of forest protection and
decline for particular regions using some version of ecological zones
(e.g. Lysenko et al., 1995, Mackinnon, 1996). Although the FAO have
compiled data on forest resources globally (e.g. FAO 1995), the
methodology used has differed between developed and developing
countries. A more uniform approach to the forests of the different
regions of the world is called for (Paivinen 1996). The World
Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) recently produced an analysis of
protection of ecological zones in the tropics (Murray et al. 1996),
using the system of ecofloristic zonesdeveloped for FAO. In 1996
Iremonger et al. wrote a global analysis; the extent of current forest
cover in each ecological zone was determined and the protection of
that existing forest cover was assessed (FAO,1997). This latter study
was possible because WCMC had completed a digital map of the world's
forests at a clear enough resolution for the work. However, in the
study the forest was not subdivided into different forest types, and
an overlay of ecological zones coverages was used as a surrogate for
these. The assumption in that study was that vegetationoccurring in
different ecological zones belongs to different ecological types.

The present study builds upon the work carried out byIremonger et
al. (1997). The digital world forest coverage was subdivided into
different broad forest types, and the ecological zones coverages were
used as an overlay to define in even more detail the ecological
variants of each forest type. The differences in scales and
resolutions upon which the forest data sets and the ecological
zones data sets were based, meant that the results of combining zones
and forest types was not always meaningful. A more in-depth analysis
of the reasons for the results obtained would be very useful and
eliminate misleading combinations (e.g., thorn forest in the Tropical
wet ecological zone) that may seem like rare and unique forest
variants.

Having created such detailed forest coverages for eachregion of the
world, it was possible to compare forest area to the population
figures. Some preliminary test extrapolations were attempted.

Related URL
Link: View Related Information
Description: Home Page for the WCMC Global Overview of Forest Conservation


Link: View Related Information
Description: WCMC Forest Statistical Data, charts, and maps


Geographic Coverage
 N: 90.0 S: -90.0  E: 180.0  W: -180.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Iremonger, S., C. Ravilious and T. Quinton
Dataset Title: A statistical analysis of global forest conservation
Dataset Release Date: 1997
Dataset Release Place: Cambridge, UK
Dataset Publisher: WCMC
Other Citation Details: In: Iremonger, S., C. Ravilious and T. Quinton (Eds.) A global overview of forest conservation
Online Resource: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/data/cdrom2/


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > EUROPE > EASTERN EUROPE > RUSSIA
CONTINENT > AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND > AUSTRALIA
CONTINENT > AFRICA
CONTINENT > ASIA
CONTINENT > ASIA > WESTERN ASIA > MIDDLE EAST
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > OCEANIA
CONTINENT > ASIA > SOUTHEASTERN ASIA
CONTINENT > ASIA > SOUTHERN ASIA
OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN > CARIBBEAN SEA > CARIBBEAN
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > CENTRAL AMERICA
CONTINENT > EUROPE
CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > GLOBAL
CONTINENT > SOUTH AMERICA


Science Keywords
AGRICULTURE >FOREST SCIENCE >FOREST MANAGEMENT    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS >FORESTS    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >FOREST COMPOSITION/VEGETATION STRUCTURE    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >VEGETATION COVER    [Definition]
HUMAN DIMENSIONS >HABITAT CONVERSION/FRAGMENTATION >DEFORESTATION    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >LAND USE/LAND COVER >LAND COVER    [Definition]
OCEANS >COASTAL PROCESSES >MANGROVES    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >AFFORESTATION/REFORESTATION    [Definition]
AGRICULTURE >FOREST SCIENCE >AFFORESTATION/REFORESTATION    [Definition]
AGRICULTURE >FOREST SCIENCE >FOREST CONSERVATION    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >COMMUNITY DYNAMICS >BIODIVERSITY FUNCTIONS    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
FARMING
BIOTA


Project
GTOS >Global Terrestrial Observing System    [Information]
WCMC >World Conservation Monitoring Centre's Marine and Coastal Programme    [Information]


Keywords
IDN=G3OS/GTOS
CONSERVATION
TEMS
GTOS
G3OS
ecological zones
GIS
protected areas


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Originating Center
WCMC


Data Center
World Conservation Monitoring Centre, United Nations Environment Programme    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/

Data Center Personnel
Name: S. IREMONGER
Phone: +44-1223-277314
Fax: +44-1223-277136
Email: info at wcmc.org.uk
Contact Address:
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Cambridge
219 Huntingdon Road
Postal Code: CB3 0DL
Country: UNITED KINGDOM



Distribution
Distribution_Media: online web
Fees: none


Personnel
S. IREMONGER
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +44-1223-277314
Fax: +44-1223-277136
Email: info at wcmc.org.uk
Contact Address:
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Cambridge
219 Huntingdon Road
Postal Code: CB3 0DL
Country: UNITED KINGDOM


T. QUINTON
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: +44-1223-277314
Fax: +44-1223-277136
Email: info at wcmc.org.uk
Contact Address:
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
219 Huntingdon Road
City: Cambridge
Postal Code: CB3 0DL
Country: UNITED KINGDOM


C. RAVILIOUS
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +44-1223-277314
Fax: +44-1223-277136
Email: info at wcmc.org.uk
Contact Address:
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
219 Huntingdon Road
City: Cambridge
Postal Code: CB3 0DL
Country: UNITED KINGDOM


R. WILSON
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (613) 692-3009
Fax: (613)692-0356
Email: rwilson at fox.nstn.ca
Contact Address:
5771 Rideau Valley Dr.
City: Manotick
Province or State: Ontario
Postal Code: K4M 1B3
Country: CANADA


Publications/References
Iremonger, S., C. Ravilious and T. Quinton (1997.). A statistical
analysis of global forest conservation. In: Iremonger, S.,
C. Ravilious and T. Quinton (Eds.) A global overview of forest
conservation. Including: GIS files of forests and protected areas,
version 2. CD-ROM. CIFOR and WCMC, Cambridge, U.K.

For further references, see:
http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/data/cdrom2/refs.htm

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2000-02-01
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-04-20

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