Increasing green cover

large-scale reforestation programmes and cultivation of abandoned agricultural land has led to the expansion of forest area in Europe by 500,000 hectares a year. This was stated in a recent report on temperate forest, compiled by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The report was complied after studying temperate and boreal forest resources of 55 countries, in Europe, North America, Asia and the Common Wealth of Independent States.

It indicates that the forest area is increasing in almost all the countries, except Russia, where it is shrinking by more than one million hectares annually. The land under forest cover is estimated to be 38 per cent in Europe, 39 per cent in North America and 54 per cent in Russia. According to the report, all the surveyed countries have some protected forests and the greatest threat to temperate forest are fire and insects.