Fact Sheets

#1: Primary Forests – An Introduction

Forests whose composition and structure largely reflect natural processes are known by various
terms such as ancient, virgin, intact and old growth forest. We recommend “primary forest” as
the preferred term as it is the most widely used internationally. – Read More

#2: Global Extent and Loss

We have already lost about one third of the pre-agriculture extent of the world’s forests
(about 20,000,000 km2 or 2 billion hectares). At the end of the last ice age
(approximately 8,000 years ago), global forest cover is estimated to have been
62,000,000 km2 6.2 billion hectares, almost half of Earth’s land surface (Shvidenko 2005,
Mackey et al. 2014). – Read More

#3: Primary Forests and Biodiversity

Forest ecosystems are vital refuges for global terrestrial biodiversity. Currently, forests cover less than a third of Earth’s land cover, but contain up to 80% of terrestrial biomass and provide habitat for over half of the known terrestrial plant and animal species (Morales-Hidalgo et. al. 2015). – Read More

#4: Primary Forests and Carbon

This factsheet provides a summary of key facts about the role of primary forests in storing carbon and climate change mitigation. We draw upon the most recent estimates from reputable scientific publications. Typically, a range of values is provided reflecting the uncertainty in scientific estimates, land use history and the natural variability of ecosystems. – Read More

Carbon Primer: Forest Carbon in the US

Forests have a vital role to play in overcoming this challenge. Rainforests store vast amounts of carbon. That’s true across the planet, and in America, too. Our Tongass National Forest, a temperate Alaskan rainforest comprises only 2% of America’s forest land base, but may hold as much as 8% of all the carbon contained in the forests of the United States. – Read more

CPF Fact Sheet – SFM and Primary Forests

The United Nations General Assembly defines sustainable forest management (SFM) as a “dynamic and evolving concept, which aims to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations. – Read more