Friday, June 11, 2010

Definition Of Forest By FAO


The definition is that used in FAOs global forest resource assessment 2010.

“Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 metres and a canopy cover of more than10% or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ.”

It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use. The definition adds the following explanatory notes:

1. Forest is determined both by the presence of trees and the absence of other predominant land uses. The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 metres in situ. Areas under reforestation is that have not yet reached but are expected to reach a canopy cover of 10% and tree height of 5 metres are included as are temporarily unstocked areas, resulting from human intervention or natural causes, which are expected to regenerate.

2. Includes areas with bamboo and palms provided that height and canopy cover criteria are met.

3. Includes forest roads, firebreaks and other small open areas; such as those of specific scientific, historical, cultural or spiritual interest.

4. Includes windbreaks, shelterbelts and corridors of trees with an area of more than 0.5 hectares and width of more than 20 metres.

5. Includes plantations primarily used for forestry or protection purposes, such as rubber wood plantations and cork oak stands.

6. Excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems, for example in fruit plantations and agro forestry systems. The term also excludes trees in urban parks and gardens.


Other Definitions

Primary forest
Forest of native species, in which there are no clearly visible indications of human activity and ecological processes are not significantly disturbed. (FAO, 2010).

Other wooded land
Land not classified as forest spanning more than 0.5 hectares; with trees higher than 5 metres and a canopy cover of 5-10% or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. Or with a combined cover of shrubs, bushes and trees above 10%. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use. (FAO.FAR2005).

Plantations
Forest or other wooded land of introduced species and in some cases native species, established through planting or seeding, may include areas of native species characterized by few species, straight tree lines and/or even aged stands. (FAO, FRA2005).

Semi-natural forest
Forest or other wooded land of native species established through planting, seeding or assisted natural regeneration (FAO,FRA2005). Areas established by planting are described as planted semi=natural forest.

Planted forests
The concept of planted forests combines the areas of plantations and of planted semi-natural forest regeneration, in terms not only of regeneration method, but also planting stock, tending and management techniques.

Outgrowers and outgrower schemes.
Outgrower schemes are partnerships between small land owners and industrial companies according to which the outgrowers raise trees on their own lands to sell to the companies, usually at an agreed price and sometimes with the support of the company.

Courtesy of FAO

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