Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) is a state parameter in most ecosystem productivity models and is also the key terrestrial product. In this study, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) was used to estimate FPAR from 1982 to 2006, using an intermediate model. Our research focused on the analysis of long-term global FPAR interannual trend patterns and driving forces involving climate and land cover changes. Results showed that interannual trend and spatial distribution patterns of global FPAR were independent of the changes in AVHRR instruments, and differed by season dynamics and vegetation types. Compared with other seasons, the period during JJA (June–August) exhibited more areas with decreasing FPAR and greater reduction range. For FPAR interannual trend, a wholly different correlation pattern was observed between temperature and precipitation, especially for arid and semi-arid regions. A significant influence of extreme droughts such as those associated with El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on FPAR variability was found. The result also revealed the increasing and decreasing interannual trend of FPAR corresponding to the afforestation in the Three North Shelterbelts Program in China and deforestation in tropical forests in Southeast Asia. Driving factor analysis indicated that the climate and land cover changes had an interactive effect on the FPAR annual anomalous variation.