World's Intact Forest Landscapes, 2000-2013

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Key Findings

Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL) in year 2000 covered 12.8 million km2, or 9.7% of the Earth land area (excluding Antarctica and Greenland). By year 2013, the total IFL area had decreased by 8.1% and made up 11.8 million km2. The primary factors of IFL area
decrease were forest cover loss due to clearing, logging, and human-ignited forest fires* (19%[1]) and fragmentation by disturbance and infrastructure (81%).

Most of the IFL consist of forests** (81.3%), with the remainder spread over woodlands and non-forest ecosystems. The IFL degradation mostly affected forested parts of the IFL decreasing intact fraction of the world forest cover from 25.4% in 2000 to 23.2% in 2013 (comparing to year 2000 forest cover[2]).

The vast majority (93.5%) of IFL are found in two biomes: Tropical and Boreal forests[3]. The lowest proportion of IFL is found in Temperate forests. The highest proportion of IFL degradation (27.7% of year 2000 IFL area) was found in Subtropical biome.

IFL existed in 64 countries in year 2013. Most of the world's IFL area is concentrated in a small number of countries - 11 countries contain 90% of the total IFL area. Three countries - Canada, Russia and Brazil - alone contain 65% of the world's entire IFL area and 56% of the total IFL degradation area 2000-2013. The highest proportion of IFL degradation was found in South-East and Insular Asia countries. The countries with the highest IFL degradation in both absolute terms (area) and relative terms (percentage) are Paraguay, Australia, Bolivia, Myanmar, Gabon, Cameroon, and Malaysia.

More than 32% of the world's IFL area has some form of protection in year 2013, but only 2% is strictly protected, i.e. belongs to IUCN categories Ia of protected areas[4]. Among the continents, the protected proportion is smallest in Asia and North America. Some Asian countries - China, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam - have placed none their IFL area under protection with IUCN status I-III.

Download Intact Forest Landscapes 2013
Greenpeace, 2014

IFL extent and change
I. Zhuravleva, 2014

Explore IFL dataset on the
Global Forest Watch
data portal


World Database on Protected Areas: WDPA, 2007. UNEP-WCMC and IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas - December 2007.

Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: Olson et al., 2001. Terrestrial ecoregions of the World: A new map of life on Earth. BioScience 51(10): 1-6.

Vegetation Continuous Fields MODIS 500m product: Hansen et al., 2003. Global percent tree cover at a spatial resolution of 500 meters: First results of the MODIS vegetation continuous fields algorithm. Earth Interactions 7:1-15.


[1] Hansen M.C., Potapov P.V., Moore R., Hancher M., Turubanova S.A., Tyukavina A., Thau D., Stehman S.V., Goetz S.J., Loveland T.R., Kommareddy A., Egorov A., Chini L., Justice C.O., Townshend J.R.G. (2013) High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change, Science 342(6160), 850-853

[2] FAO [Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations] (2010). Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. Rome: UNFAO.

[3] FAO (2001). Global ecological zoning for the global forest resources assessment 2000. Rome: UNFAO.

[4] IUCN and UNEP. (2013). The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). UNEP-WCMC. Cambridge, UK.

News & Updates

IFL 2000 and 2013 are available for download.
IFL on Google Earth Engine.

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