News of the WeekEcology

U.N. Report Suggests Slowed Forest Losses

Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2294
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5512.2294

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A comprehensive survey of the world's forests, released last week by the United Nations (U.N.), suggests that global rates of forest loss decreased in the 1990s. But the World Resources Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C., claims that the numbers are "out-of-date, patchy, and inaccurate," and that changed baselines and methods invalidate the comparison of deforestation rates. The U.N. admits that the quality of data varies but says its methods and conclusions are sound.