Over the last decades, the economic value of forests in Portugal has known a progressive decline, with several consequences on social and environmental levels.
Since 1996, it was diagnosed that forests in Portugal showed clear evidence of underutilization and over-exploitation. This diagnosis has worsened year after year.
- 2,3% concerns to the decrease of the annual average change rate, in value, registered in forestry over the last decade (2000-2010), resulting from the lower prices paid out to forest owners (source: INE/CES 2010).
- 7,1% corresponds to the growth of the intermediate consumption/production ratio, shown in the last decade (2000/2010, 20.6% in 2000 to 27.7% in 2010), an adverse situation for forestry (source: INE/CES 2010),
- 1,5 million hectares is the estimated area of abandoned soils in Portugal. This area corresponds to 43% of total forest surface and to 17% of the national land area (source. Portuguese Government).
- 74,2 million Euros correspond to the amount spent on direct combat of forest fires in 2012, 10.3% more than the amount spent in 2011 (source: ANPC).
- 35% was the average percentage related to the distribution of forest burned area, recorded by Portugal, between 2000 and 2009, compared to the set of 5 countries of Southern Europe.
- 100% reflects the increase of eucalyptus area in the last 30 years. Data related to the last Forest Inventory are not yet available, however it is estimated that eucalyptus plantations in Portugal, which ranks fifth in the world, has increased by more than 400 thousand hectares. This positive evolution occurs in despite of the facts that the abandonment on eucalypt forests management is higher and the annual productivity average has experienced no changes since 1928 (currently is 10 cubic meters per hectare and year).