The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2011 the International Year of Forests, and WRM has decided to devote its first bulletin of the year to this significant event. According to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly, the UN is committed to promoting “the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.”
Issue 162 – January 2011
In the International Year of Forests
IN THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS
29 January 2011The origin of forests Some 430 million years ago, plants and arthropods began to live on land and to evolve, adapting to their new habitat while adapting their habitat at the same time. Larger and more varied types of plants – giant versions of what are classified by science today as lycopods, equisetums and ferns, reaching heights of up to 12 metres – spread across the swamps and lakeshores until forming the first terrestrial forests, which were occupied by the primitive ancestors of millipedes, centipedes, insects, mites and spiders.
29 January 2011Following FAO’s criterion for the limits of tree cover for "forest" (canopy cover between 10-30%), the Kyoto Protocol defines a forest as “a minimum area of land of 0.05-1.0 hectares with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10-30 per cent with trees with the potential to reach a minimum height of 2-5 metres at maturity in situ.” Other UN organizations and initiatives as well as national governments follow this definition of forests in their negotiations, programmes and policies.