The latest data is based on satellite figures that could not have been gathered at the time and show that less forest than thought was lost during the period. Better still, claims FRA, is that the revision has cut around a third off the previous estimates.
FRA is a research and analysis consultancy specializing in sustainable forestry and forestry investment. It said that the news of the revision is great, but that more needs to be done to ensure that deforestation rates continue to fall - particularly in developing countries where climate change could be felt so severely by the entire population.
The new figures, released by the United Nation's food agency, FAO, show that the net losses, which take into account any gains through plantations, such as those grown and managed by Greenwood Management in Brazil, totalled 72.9 million hectares over the period. This is 32 per cent lower than the previous estimate of 107.4 million.
Although deforestation was still rapid, the amount of aforestation taking place helped to reduce the total, according to the new figures.
FRA's analysis partner, Peter Collins, said, "Encouraging aforestation through investment in forestry is a key part of protecting our vital forests from logging."
He added, "Projects that work to add to the forest land in developing countries, and particularly those that focus on non-native species, not only promote sustainable forestry management, but also reduce the dependence on native species, thus reducing the demand for illegally logged timber."
Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO's assistant director-general for forestry, said: "The new, satellite-based figures...offer decision-makers at every level more accurate information and underscore the need for countries and organizations to urgently address and halt the loss of valuable forest ecosystems."
About Forestry Research Associates
Forestry Research Associates is a research and advisory consultancy that focuses on forestry management, sustainability issues and forestry investment around the globe.
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