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Forests 2018, 9(7), 407;

On the Reliability of International Forest Sector Statistics: Problems and Needs for Improvements

Bioeconomy and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Latokartanonkaari 9, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Universitetstunet 3, 1433 Ås, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Statistics on production and trade of forest products form a basis for the analyses of the economic and environmental performance of the forest sector and for projecting future developments in the sector and related markets. The forest product statistics FAOSTAT by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are perhaps the most widely used data source for such analyses. This study aimed at systematically scrutinizing this important dataset and identifying regions and product categories where improved data on wood and forest industry production and trade would be needed in order to set the modeling and analyses employing these data on a more solid basis. The consistency of the data on production, imports, and export volumes of wood was examined with some simple tests and with the aid of linear programming. The results show that the data related to the supply of wood chips and particles are unreliable in many countries. Improving these data would be important in order to assess the cascading wood input–output flows, to evaluate resource potentials, and to specify more reliable coefficients for wood use in forest sector models. Moreover, the data show remarkable inconsistencies, even of the magnitude of millions of cubic meters, between the apparent supply of wood (harvests + net imports) and forest industry production in many regions. Errors and uncertainties of such magnitude have important consequences on the results of any analysis using the data and call for special attention by the data users. View Full-Text
Keywords: data; errors; forest products; forestry; statistics; FAOSTAT; modeling data; errors; forest products; forestry; statistics; FAOSTAT; modeling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kallio, A.M.I.; Solberg, B. On the Reliability of International Forest Sector Statistics: Problems and Needs for Improvements. Forests 2018, 9, 407.

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