South America and sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing deforestation on an enormous scale: every year almost 5m hectares are lost, net.
But forests are also changing in rich Western countries.
They are growing larger, both in the sense that they occupy more land and that the trees in them are bigger.
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%.
Now forests cover 11% of the land, and the government wants to push the proportion to 18% by the 2040s.
Governments have protected and promoted forests for diverse reasons, ranging from the need for wooden warships to a desire to promote suburban house-building. »