Barcelona Field Studies Centre

The Growth of Forest Area in Spain 1990-2015

31 January 2020

Forests are spreading in almost all Western countries, with the fastest growth in places that historically had rather few trees. In 1990 28% of Spain was forested; now the proportion is 37%. Spain has gained 33% in forest area since 1990, from 138,000 to 184,000 km². The increase is mainly due to rural depopulation and the natural expansion of mountain vegetation.


The above map shows the percentage forest gain or loss for ​​world countries since 1990. It is based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) records, in the World Bank open database. The agency excludes from its definition agricultural production systems (such as a fruit plantations) and trees in urban parks and gardens.

Deforestation remains the prevailing trend. The world's forest area has decreased 3% (approximately 1.3 million km²) in the last 25 years. The net rate of loss of trees has slowed sgnificantly during that period, from 70,000 km² per year to 30,000 km², according to the FAO.

The purchasing power of nations, according to the data, is closely related to forest conservation. The more developed countries added more than three million new forest area between 2000 and 2010; the less, to the contrary, lost more than two million.

Source: El Pais:¿Qué países han ganado y perdido más árboles desde 1990?