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The forest resources of the temperate zones. Main findings of the UN-ECE / FAO 1990 Forest Resource Assessment.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1992. v, 32 p. (ECE/TIM/60)The main findings of the UN-ECE/FAO Forest Resource Assessment, 1990, now reflect a virtually complete set of basic forest inventory statistics of countries providing information for the assessment. This tool would be valuable and useful for policy makers, managers, and others concerned with forestry, ecology, conservation, and socioeconomic development. About 50% of the world's total forest resources are covered in this assessment. In process is the collection of corresponding data on the tropical and temperate zone developing regions. Assessment is made of 1) the world context, 2) basic information (land-use classification, forest types, species groups, stocked and unstocked forests, ownership and management status, number and size distribution of holdings, change in area over time, standing volume and growing stock, standing volume and mass of biomass, annual increment, fellings, and removals, 3) benefits and functions of the forests, and 4) conclusions. The main findings are that 2.06 billion hectares or about 50% of the world's total forests and wooded land are located in temperate zones. Almost 25% is in the USSR and almost 20% in North America. Forest covers nearly 39% of land area or 1.62 hectares/capita in temperate regions. Forest area, growing stock, and increment have continued to increase since the 1950s. there were 1.86 billion m3 overbark fellings in 1990 of which 40% was in North America; fellings are still less than net annual increment. The environmental and other nonwood goods and services of the forests are becoming increasingly important to society, and will receive emphasis in policy and planning for protection, water regulation, nature conservation, and recreation. Public attitudes have been changing. Conflicts do exist between, for instance, wood production and environmental protection. Almost all temperate zone countries have in common the continuing expansion of the forest resources and specifically nonwood functions. The next joint session of FAO European Forestry Commission and UN-ECE Timber Committee will consider the implications of the net productivity for the whole range of goods and services relative to the deterioration of an overmature forest.