Top 10 Forested Nations on Earth

The United Nations is more than just an organization whose objective is to uphold international law and security. The U.N. is also a source of untold statistical data about our world, with a slew of adjunct associations that cover a vast array of relevant material, from natural resources to economic and social development.

Take the Food and Agricultural Organization on the U.N. for example. Since 1945, the FAO has led efforts to combat global hunger and mitigate the destructive consequences of famine. As a result, the organization is heavily invested in techniques to modernize the overall food production and agricultural landscape of nations around the globe, in order to achieve proper and sustainable nutrition standards.

The FAO also employs a slew of experts in the fields of agronomy, forestry, livestock, fishery, economics and much more, who, in order to devise formulas to improve the lot of the poor and hungry, collect, analyze and disseminate data about, in effect, our world.

With a copious database of statistics on hand, one of the more remarkable figures the FAO keeps tabs on is a list of the most forested nations in terms of percentage. Although subject to change from year to year, recent results may actually surprise you. Here then, are the top 10.


With half of net national income in direct relation to the export of forestry products, Sweden is without a doubt, a forest nation. Over 66% of the country is in fact forest, in the form of Norway spruce and Scots pine for the most part. As a result, the populace of the progressive nation have a deep and almost spiritual connection with the land.

 North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, is not just the stronghold of comical and enigmatic dictator Kim Jong-il. The nation between China and the Republic of Korea is also rich in temperate forests, with over 1,100 species of flora, from medicinal plants to conifers.


Another area of Scandinavia with a surfeit of forest cover is Finland. The majority of the country is awash in boreal coniferous forest and as a result, forestry is the lynchpin of the national economy. The foremost social democracy has a love affair with nature and the land. Private citizens account for over 60% of forest land ownership and access, for the most part, is free for all.

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The island nation 800 km east of the Philippines is a young country and relatively rich in natural resources. Once subject to a fierce tug-of-war between the United States of America and Japan, the Republic of Palau’s vast archipelago is over 85% forest and rich in mineral deposits.

 Brunei Darussalam

The powerful sultanate of Brunei Darussalam is in northwest Borneo. Independent from the United Kingdom since 1984, the home of the Sultan of Brunei, who at one time or another has had the most colossal personal fortune in history, is not unlike the rest of Borneo. In other words, replete with natural wonder, in the form of a wild, dense network of rainforest canopy.


With estimates of tree cover that run in excess of 94%, Guyana is indeed rare in the world of forestation. On the tip of South America, the only former British colony on the continent has more in common with proximate neighbor Trinidad from a cultural standpoint than with border nations like Venezuela and Brazil. The vast river systems of the Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice provide Guyana with a lush, verdant and relatively unexplored landscape.


The equatorial nation of Gabon in west central Africa has a diverse network of ecosystems in play, with rainforest cover throughout much of the land. With coastal plains, savanna and mountains, Gabon’s biodiversity is almost peerless on the continent and government efforts in the realm of preservation have been notable. Over 11% of the country is under the domain of a national park system.


Guyana’s neighbor to the east, the Republic of Suriname shares to a great extent, the fluvial and tropical landscape typical of the north coast of South America. The lush rainforests of the country are fed by a system of six major rivers that flow from south to north. Like Guyana, the nation once known as Dutch Guiana is for the most part, untamed and uninhabitable, which makes it a favorite with eco-tourists.

 Solomon Islands

Just east of Papua New Guinea, in the Oceania subregion of Melanesia, are the Solomon Islands. The archipelago nation of more than 1,000 islands is home to two rainforest ecoregions that support a wide range of exotic flora and fauna.

French Guiana

Again, the north coast of South America proves to be the leader in the world when it comes to forestation. Along with Suriname and Guyana, French Guiana helps form a triumvirate of nations with wild, uncultivated swaths of land that comprise over 95% of the entire country. The overseas department of France, between the Atlantic Ocean and Brazil, is within the equatorial zone of South America, with vast alluvial plains and a wet, tropical climate. New construction links underway between the capital Cayenne and the province of Amap? in Brazil will hopefully usher in a bountiful era of tourism to the country.

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