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.’

On the eve of March 21, the day FAO celebrates its International Day of sustainable forest destruction, WRM is releasing a briefing that looks back at a UN-led process on the Underlying Causes of Deforestation that took place more than 20 years ago. The Underlying Causes identified in 1999 do not only remain as significant today as they were. They have even been reinforced in many ways.

Compilation of WRM Bulletin articles on the occasion of March 21st – UN International Day of Forests