The goal of the Danish government is to double the Danish forest area in a tree generation starting from 1989. At
the end of 2001, the Danish forest area was 481 thousand hectares, which is a rise from 1990 of 33 thousand
hectares. The afforestation will on average have to increase in the following years, if the goal of doubling the
wooded area of Denmark within a tree generation is to be reached, that is within a period of 80 to 100 years
counting from 1989. We have presented a physical balance for the forest area of Denmark for the period from 1990
to 2001. The balance sheet rests heavily on the forest census of 2000 along with the forest census of 1990. From
2002, a new sample-based National Forest Inventory has been launched, which will replace the Forestry Census.
For the years in between the balance rests on measures on afforestation made by the Danish Forest and Nature
Agency along with assumptions made about afforestation by private forest owners who are not recipients of state
funding. The Danish forest is measured to 11.3 percent of the total Danish land area in 2000, and total forestry
industry made up only about 1.0 percent of the total production in the economy and about 4.3 percent of the
manufacturing industry. The forests give a production value of almost 15 billion DKK to the Danish economy. In
other words, the total forestry industry accounts for about 1.0 percent of the total production in the economy and
about 4.3 percent of the manufacturing industry. Christmas trees account for about 2.0 billion DKK of the forestry
industry production value and ornamental branches made up about 31 percent. The Danish forest area is estimated
to have a value of 11.9 billion DKK at the end of 2001, which is 1.4 billion DKK more than the estimated value of
forest land in 1990, a rise of 12.8 percent in the period. This rise over such a long period can be explained by the
fact that the land values in the tax assessments have fallen both as a percentage of the total forest value in the
period and absolutely. The values have been estimated using the physical data from the physical balance sheet for
land and a combination of actual transactions of forests and the tax assessment values of forests.
On the basis of information from the forestry censuses of 1990 and 2000, as well as numbers from a new samplebased
National Forest Inventory, the volume of standing timber has been estimated to be 80 million m3 at the end
of 2001 – a rise of 13 million m3 or 20 percent since 1990. If this rate of rise keeps up – the volume of timber will
double much faster than the area of forests. Part of this rise in the volume of standing timber was lost during the
hurricane of 1999. This can be seen in the balance sheet for 2000 where the volume of standing timber actually
declined. In 2001, however, the volume of standing timber is rising again. For the valuation of the timber the
stumpage value was used. The value of standing timber is estimated to about 14.3 billion DKK by the end of 2001.
The standing stock of wood was 79.6 Mm3 ultimo 1991. This stock of wood was equivalent to 27535 tonnes C or
98419 tonnes CO2. Wood volumes are converted to carbon stores by multiplying with conversions factors.
Assuming that all Danish forest soil is well drained, it can be concluded that total CO2 storage in Danish forest soils
is about 220 millions tonnes. However, this number is undervalued because an essential part of Danish forest soils
are bed drained swamps, etc. In these forest soils, there exists actually far more CO2 storage because of lack of
oxygen. Unfortunately, total carbon balance for the Danish forests ecosystem cannot be calculated, because data on
carbon storage in ‘other biomass’ and ‘other biomass in forest’ does not yet exist in Denmark.
Forests are the most popular recreation and leisure areas in Denmark. About 90 percent of the adult Danish
population spent time in the forest at least once a year. A typical Dane visits forest about 10 times a year and
average visiting time per visitor was 1.55 hours. Most Danes visit forests for the purpose of enjoying the nature or
walking. The transport time has decreased by 10 percent from 1976. The average transport distance dropped as
well. According to several examination the recreational value of Danish forests is about a half billion DKK per year.
The data situation for areas with protective functions is not very good at the moment, but we can expect more data
in the near future because of new sample-based National Forest Inventory. The hurricane in 1999 had an impact on
groundwater. 4 percent of Danish forest area had been destroyed by the hurricane. It can be expected that
groundwater will be negatively impacted in the 5 years after the hurricane on this area. 34000 ha forest in
Denmark to protect land from sand drift and another kind of erosion has been established.
A new sample-based national forest inventory has been launched which will replace the Forestry Census.
Preliminary results from sample-based national forest inventory may be obtained from 2004, but complete samplebased
national forest inventory will be complete in 2006. Future work on this field is dependent on the new
sample-based national forest inventory. However, it is possible to establish several balances on an annual basis.
They are: forest balance for the area of wooded land, forest balance for volume of standing timber and monetary
balances analogous to these two balances. We can also establish IEEAF tables with three year difference; also in
2004 we will be able to establish IEEAF tables for 2001. Total carbon balance for the Danish forest ecosystem can
not be calculated, because data on carbon storage in other biomass and other biomass in forest does not yet exist in
Denmark. These series are expected to be available from sample-based national forest inventory. This will probably make it possible to calculate total carbon balance for the Danish forest ecosystem. It is not possible to establish
tables for recreational areas of forest and tables for forest protective functions on an annual basis. Data on these
fields is not yet produced on an annual basis. Future work on this field is depending on the new sample-based
national forest inventory. Future possibilities for economic analysis will increase with introduction of this new
We have now established principles and methods for compiling physical and monetary balance sheets for the area
of forests and for the volume of standing timber. Accounts for carbon balance in Danish forests, recreational areas
of Danish forests and Danish forest protective function were presented as well. Some of the methods used for
building up the forest accounts rest heavily on the forest census, while other methods can be used in between years
with a census.
|Place of Publication||Statistics Denmark|
|Number of pages||48|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|