2022 State of World’s Forests Report

4 May 2022.


The 2022 edition of The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO), released on day one of the World Forestry Congress, 2022 (May 2, 2022).


  • “The State of the World’s Forests” (SOFO) is the flagship publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), published every two years. FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security.
  • “The State of the World’s Forests” (SOFO) report presents an analysis of the interaction between forests and people, with a focus on a specific pertinent topic.
  •  It explains the importance of forests to the global economy and biodiversity.
  •  The report is regarded as one of the most important stocktakes on forest ecosystems.

 Observations of the report

  • The world has lost 420 million hectares (mha), approximately 10.34% of its total forest area in the last 30 years (between 1990 and 2020) due to deforestation.
  • Though the rate of deforestation was declining, 10 mha of forests were lost every year between 2015 and 2020. This poses severe risks for the 68% of mammal species, 75% of bird species, and 80% of amphibian species that inhabit forests.
  • Forest biodiversity remains under threat from deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Forests cover 4.06 billion ha (31%) of the earth’s geographical area.

 Report on  infectious diseases:

  • The report stated that 30% of new diseases, reported since 1960, can be attributed to deforestation and land-use change.
  • Deforestation, particularly in the tropics, has been associated with an increase in infectious diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.
  • More responsible land-use planning to address the “underlying drivers of disease emergence”.

 Report on  India and China

  • India and China could emerge as the biggest hotspots for new zoonotic viral diseases over the next few decades if human pressure on forests continues to increase.
  • Due to increasing human-wildlife interactions, infectious diseases can easily spread to humans.

What are zoonotic diseases?

  • A zoonosis is an infectious disease that can be transmitted naturally from a non-human animal to humans.
  • Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
  • Examples of Zoonotic diseases include anthrax (from sheep) rabies (from rodents and other mammals) West Nile virus (from birds).

What are the suggestions given in the report?

The report suggested three interrelated pathways to achieve green recovery and tackle environmental crises:

  1. Halting deforestation and maintaining forests
  2. Restoring degraded lands and expanding agroforestry
  3. Sustainably using forests and building green value chains.

What is Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use?

  • It is the declaration pledged by more than 140 countries to eliminate forest loss by 2030 and to support restoration and sustainable forestry.
  • To this end, an additional $19 billion has been allocated to help developing countries achieve these objectives.

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