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The area under forest cover continues to decline globally, with the biggest losses of tropical forests occurring in South America and Africa, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). World forest cover declined by some 5.3 million hectares a year between 1990-2010, said FAO while releasing data on forest resources on the occasion of International Day of Forests. As of 2010, the total forest cover was 3.89 billion hectares, or 30 percent of the land area, according to the updated findings of a global remote sensing survey. The area of tropical forests declined in South America, Africa and Asia - with the biggest loss in absolute terms in tropical South America, followed by tropical Africa. FAO said that improving information on forest resources and sensitising local forest communities can play an important role in stopping illegal deforestation and forest degradation.