Forest area includes both forest land cover (forest land covered by trees), and forest land use (both forest cover and the forest land temporarily without trees).

Forest cover is a fundamental measure for the monitoring of state and trends of forest ecosystems, forest resources, their management and uses.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) definition for forest land is “Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 metres and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use.“

Forest land cover in 2018

The map shows forest cover of the land surface. Zoom and click on an area to see the cover and share of forest at different administrative levels.

Sources:
Extracted from Land cover and change statistics 2000-2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service
Administrative Units/Statistical Units provided by GISCO Eurostat; © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Forest type 2018

High resolution layer showing the forest and non-forest area of Europe. The forest map covers the dominant leaf types (broad leaved and needle leaved forest).
The raster product is largely following the FAO forest definition with tree covered areas in agricultural and urban context excluded and covers the full EEA area.
The minimum mapping unit is 0.5 ha and a 10% tree cover density threshold. The presented resolution is 10 m.


Source: Forest Type (FTY) 2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service

Dynamic map Tree Cover Density from 2012 to 2018

High resolution layers from 2012 to 2018 showing level of tree cover density in a range from 0-100%. Tree cover density is defined as the "vertical projection of tree crowns to a horizontal earth’s surface“. It is important to note that tree cover is not equivalent to forest land. Tree Cover Density 2012 and 2015 layers have 20m resolution and Tree Cover Density 2018 layer has 10m resolution.

Sources:
Tree Cover Density (TCD) 2012 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service
Tree Cover Density (TCD) 2015 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service
Tree Cover Density (TCD) 2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service

Tree cover density 2018

High resolution layer showing level of tree cover density in a range from 0-100%.
In this layer the area covered by agricultural and urban trees has been removed.
The presented resolution is 10m. It is important to note that tree cover is not equivalent to forest land

Source: Tree Cover Density (TCD) 2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service

Forest type 2015

High resolution layer showing the forest and non-forest area of Europe. The forest area covers the dominant leaf types broad leaved and needle leaved trees. The minimum mapping unit is 0.5 ha and a 10% tree cover density threshold. The presented resolution is 100 m.

Source: Forest Type (FTY) 2015 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service

Tree cover density 2015

High resolution layer showing level of tree cover density in a range from 0-100%. Two layers resolution are displayed depending of the scale (20m - 100m). It is important to note that tree cover is not equivalent to forest land.


Source: Tree Cover Density (TCD) 2015 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service

Change in forest land cover 2012-2018

Land Cover Change (CHA) 2012-2018 is one of the datasets produced within the frame of the Corine Land Cover programme referring to land cover and land use changes between 2012 and 2018. The Land Cover Change (CHA) dataset represents changes on 44 classes in the hierarchical 3-level Corine nomenclature. The minimum mapping unit (MMU) is 5 hectares (ha).

This map shows the forest changes for the following classes:

  • 311: Broad-leaved forest
  • 312: Coniferous forest
  • 313: Mixed forest
  • 324: Transitional woodland-shrub

Main changes in forest land cover appear in transitional woodland/shrub class. This is likely to represent forest management activities (clear cuts, reforestation, afforestation) or the impact of natural disturbances.
The map shows forest change by administrative unit as the balance between forest cover in 2012 minus forest cover in 2018.
Zoom in and click on the polygon change units to see the change types in forest land cover.

Sources:
Corine Land Cover Changes (CHA) 2012-2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA) and Copernicus Land Monitoring Service
Extracted from Land cover and change statistics 2000-2018 provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
Administrative Units/Statistical Units provided by GISCO Eurostat; © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey (LUCAS)

LUCAS is an in-situ area frame survey, which means that the data are gathered through direct observations made by surveyors in the field. This survey is carried out every three years since 2006 for EU changes in land cover and land use. LUCAS points belong to the intersections of a 2 km grid that includes around 1 M points all over the EU. During the LUCAS 2018 survey, a sample of around 240 000 of these points is visited on the spot by 750 field surveyors, whilst another 98 000 points are photo-interpreted in the office. The points are selected on the basis of stratification information. The land cover/use statistics derived from the LUCAS survey are unique as they are fully standardised to use the same definitions and methodology, and are comparable among Member States. Types of land cover and visible land use are broken down into harmonised LUCAS categories. The full supporting documents for the survey comprise a field form, where all the measured variables are listed, and detailed field surveyors' instructions, which describe quality control procedures.

Source: Harmonised information on land cover and land use is collected through the LUCAS survey provided by EUROSTAT

The full description of the statistical data set is available in the land cover/use statistics metadata.

Source: Land cover/use statistics - Eurostat (europa.eu)

For the field campaign in the period 2009-2012 the LUCAS forestry classes were aligned to that of the FAO. Important change was the splitting of the LUCAS Woodland land cover class into the Lucas forestry classes' Woodland' (equal to the FAO Forest class) and 'Schrubland' (equal to FAO class Other Wooded Land).

Source: Land cover and land use, landscape (LUCAS) (lan) (europa.eu)

In LUCAS Forest types are classified according to the forest type classification of the European Environment Agency which are aligned with the EUNIS habitat classification.

Source: LUCAS2015_C3-Classification_20150227 (europa.eu)

One of the limitations of LUCAS with respect to forests is the missing of additional (non-agricultural) information on forest.

Source: LUCAS_Copernicus_Report_v2-2.pdf

ESA Biomass Climate Change Initiative (Biomass_cci): Global datasets of forest above-ground biomass for 2018

This dataset comprises estimates of forest above-ground biomass for year 2018. The data has been produced as part of the European Space Agency's (ESA's) Climate Change Initiative (CCI) programme by the Biomass CCI team.

Note:Zoom in and click on the map to see the estimated above-ground biomass (AGB) per pixel.

Source: Santoro, M.; Cartus, O. (2021): ESA Biomass Climate Change Initiative (Biomass_cci): Global datasets of forest above-ground biomass for the year 2018, v2. Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, 17 March 2021. doi:10.5285/84403d09cef3485883158f4df2989b0c