March 21, 2013 has been declared the first International Forest Day by the United Nations. In that light, we decided to take a look at one key environmental indicator that measures the percentage of forest area present in different regions of the planet.
The map above, created by the World Bank depicts forest areas as a percentage of land area for each country. Forest area is defined as land, natural or planted, under groves of trees of at least 5 meters (productive or not), excluding tree groves in agricultural production systems.
Countries with the highest forest area as a percentage of land area (dark red areas) include: Guyana, Suriname, and Belize in the Americas; Finland and Sweden in Europe; Bhutan, Laos, Japan, South and North Korea in Asia; Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, and Guinea Bissau in Africa; Papua New Guinea in Oceania.