More than 30% of Greece and 19% of Cyprus are covered in forest according to Eurostat in a report released on the occasion of International Day of Forests celebrated on 21 March.
According to the report, in 2020, the EU had an estimated 159 million hectares of forests. Their area has increased by almost 10% since 1990 (145 million hectares) with the EU average sitting at 38%.
In five EU Member States, more than half of the land area was covered with forests: Finland (66%), Sweden (63%), Slovenia (61%), Estonia (54%) and Latvia (53%).
At the other end of the scale, only around 1% of land was covered by forest in Malta and less than a fifth of land was forested in the Netherlands (10%), Ireland (11%), Denmark (15%) and Cyprus (19%).
Forests provide a range of ecosystem services to society; in addition to providing timber for construction or as fuel, their crucial role for recreation, clearing pollutants from air and water, preventing floods and storing carbon has been increasingly recognised.
The potential of forests to supply these ecosystem services depends on forest area and forest condition. Larger forests and in good condition have a higher potential to provide us more ecosystem services.