Forest Sector Economic Contribution

Contribution of the formal forest sector to employment and GDP

  • Source: FAO

From production and consumption of wood products to income generation, forests provide multiple benefits to communities around the globe. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) compiles country-level statistics on gross value added (GVA) from the formal forest sector as well as its contribution to employment and gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 as part of the 2014 State of the Forests report. Information from subsectors of roundwood production, wood processing, and pulp and paper are included. Income from forestry and forest-related activities includes the wages, profits and timber revenue earned in the formal sector, plus the income earned in informal activities, such as production of wood fuel and nonwood forest products. FAO uses gross value added as a measure of the income generated from activities in the forest sector. GVA is the sum of all revenue earned in the sector, minus the cost of all purchases from other sectors. Employment in the formal forest sector is presented as its total number and as the share of total workforce employed. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal Forest Sector Employment and GDP Contribution


Problems with underevaluation and lack of detail in national forestry statistics, as well as the higher-quality data available for developed regions as opposed to developing ones, make it difficult to assess data quality. The authors of the FAO report were particularly concerned that the national statistics on employment were not converting the employment statistics to full-time equivalents. In order to be consistent with the methodology used in past reports, this data set only takes into account activities in the formal forestry sector and their direct economic impacts on national economies.

Suggested citation

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2014. "State of the World's Forests, 2014: Enhancing the socioeconomic benefits from forests," Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

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