FAO Forest Definition
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) definition of forests reduces forests to a bunch of trees. Consequently, it considers monoculture tree plantations to be forests, when in fact, these plantations cause deforestation. This definition also ignores human communities and other living species, and the complex web of interaction among them. Because it is widely used by governments, companies and international forest-related processes, many organizations have been calling on the FAO to change its misleading definition of ‘forests.’
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This year, the theme chosen by the UN is “Forests and Biodiversity: Too Precious to Lose”. But how can the UN highlight this when its main policies related to forests and biodiversity allow for large-scale deforestation and biodiversity destruction?