2 Sources: (a) FAO Forest Resources Assessment 2000 definitions; (b) Reports related to Programme Elements discussed by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Forests at its Second Meeting (Geneva, 11-12 March 1996) and Aird, Paul (compiled by). 1994. Conservation for the Sustainable Development of Forests World-wide: A Compendium of Concepts and Term. The Forestry Chronicle Vol. 70 (6): 666-674.Afforestation: The establishment of trees by sowing, planting or natural regeneration on areas from which trees have always or very long been absent.
Assessment: The process by which information about forest management is collected with a view to establishing, within a defined framework of expectations, the current status and probable future direction of interactions between human beings and forests, using certain criteria and indicators.
Biological diversity: The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
Biomass: The total aboveground living organic matter in trees expressed as oven dry tons per unit area. It is referred to as biomass density when expressed as mass per unit area, e.g. tons per hectare. Excludes stumps and roots (belowground biomass), foliage, flowers and seeds. Different procedures in estimating biomass will be followed for the different vegetation types.
Conservation forest: Areas set aside by law or some other ruling for conservation purposes, for example: national parks, biological reserves, water reservoirs.
Criterion: A category of conditions or process by which sustainable forest management can be assessed. A criterion is characterised by a set of related indicators, which are monitored periodically to assess change (Montreal Process, 1995).
A criterion describes the different sides of sustainability on a conceptual level. It is a distinguishing element or set of conditions or processes by which a forest characteristic or management measure is judged (Pan-European Forest Process, 1994).
Deforestation: A non-temporary change of land use from forest to other land use or depletion of forest crown cover to less than 10 percent. Clear cuts (even with stump removal) if shortly followed by reforestation for forestry purposes are not considered deforestation.
Degradation: Changes within the forest class (from closed to open forest), which negatively affect the stand or site and, in particular, that lower the biological productivity capacity and diversity.
Desertification: Land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climate variations and human activities.
Ecosystem: A community of plant and animal species and micro-organisms, considered together as a functional system which includes the complex, ever changing relations that exist among plants, animals and microbes, including man, and their environment. The term is used in identifying a certain forest site type (e.g. health forest). The term habitat is used in a general sense for the place where an organism is found (FAO, 1989).
Exotic (introduced) species: Any species growing or living outside its natural range of occurrence. Normally, this refers to species purposely or accidentally introduced into countries or regions they do not historically occur.
Exploitable forest: A forest on which there are no legal, economic or technical restrictions on wood and non-wood production. It includes areas where, although there are no such restrictions, harvesting is not currently taking place; for example, areas included in long-term utilization plans.
Forest: Land with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10 percent and area of more than 0.5 ha. The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 m at maturity in situ. May consist either of closed forest formations where trees of various storeys and undergrowth cover a high proportion of the ground, or of open forest formations with a continuous vegetation cover in which tree crown cover exceeds 10 percent. Young natural stands and all plantations established for forestry purposes which have yet to reach a crown density of 10 percent or tree height of 5m are included under forest, as are areas normally forming part of the forest area which are temporarily unstocked as a result of human intervention or natural causes but which are expected to revert to forest. Includes: Forest nurseries and seed orchards that constitute an integral part of the forest; forest roads, cleared tracts, firebreaks and other small open areas within the forest; forest in national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas such as those of special environmental, scientific, historical, cultural or spiritual interest; windbreaks and shelterbelts of trees with an area of more than 0.5 ha and a width of more than 20 m. Rubber wood plantations and cork oak stands are included. Excludes: Land predominantly used for agricultural practices.
Forestry: Activities related to the management of forests and other wooded land for the production and supply of wood and/or other goods and services.
Forest degradation: Impoverishment of standing woody material mainly caused by human activities such as over-grazing, over-exploitation (for firewood in particular), repeated fires, or due attacks by insects, diseases, plant parasites or other natural causes such as cyclones. Very often degradation does not show up so much in decrease of woody vegetation but rather as a gradual reduction in biomass, changes in species composition and soil degradation.
Forest ecosystem: An ecological system composed of interacting biotic and abiotic components of the environment in which trees are a major constituent, such that their canopies cover 20 percent or more of the area.
Forest goods and products: Wood and non-wood forest products obtained from forests.
Forest land: Countries have defined forest land differently and, as such, a single definition is not possible here. When reporting, each country should provide its own definition for forestland.
Forest management unit: A clearly demarcated area of land covered predominantly by forests, managed to a set of explicit objectives and according to a long-term forest management plan. A forest management unit may cover several hundred hectares to fractions of. The entire area of the forest management unit will have to be clearly demarcated on the ground and usually also on a map. Under the broad objectives to which the entire management unit is subjected, sub-units may be managed under different and separate management regimes.
Forest services: Environmental services (e.g. conservation of soil, water, biological diversity; micro and macro climatic effects; nutrient cycling) and socio-cultural services other than those provided by the production of wood and non-wood products (e.g. recreation and tourism, protection of cultural, aesthetic and scientific values) provided by forests.
Forest type: Classification of forestland based on species forming a plurality of live-tree stocking. Type (e.g. low forest, multi-layered forest, even-aged forest etc.) is determined on the basis of species plurality of all live trees that contribute to stocking (Pan-European Forest Process, 1994).
Function: The set of processes that results from interactions among biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem. Four classes of processes are important:
· processes that affect the rate and total quantity of energy;Growing stock: The living tree component of the standing volume.
· processes that affect the rate and total quantity of nutrient cycling;
· processes that influence ecosystem services important to human beings; and
· processes that affect the life and diversity of living organisms over both short and long-time periods
Guideline: A recommendation that leads or directs a course of action to achieve a certain goal.
Indicator: The fulfillment of a criterion is evaluated by using indicators. A typical indicator is a measure of an aspect of the criterion or a measurable quantitative, qualitative or descriptive variable which when compared to previous measurements demonstrates changes or trends. The indicator has to be judged on a scale of acceptable standards of performance which may vary widely from region to region and from time to time. Some aspects of criteria can not be quantified. Their fulfillment can only be judged through the existence and effective implementation of a regulatory framework.
By repeatedly measuring the fulfillment of the criteria, countries can evaluate whether forest management is moving towards or away from sustainability. Also, they can be used as a tool for reporting on the implementation of the commitments made and thus whether the objectives set are being met.
Monitoring: Based on repeated data collection, periodic and systematic measurement and assessment of changes in indicators.
Natural forest: A forest that has evolved and reproduced itself naturally from organisms previously established, and that has not been significantly altered by human activity.
Non-wood forest products: Goods of biological origin other than wood, derived from forests, other wooded land and trees outside forests.
Other wooded land: Land either with a tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of 5-10 percent of trees able to reach a height of 5 m at maturity in situ; or a crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10 percent of trees not able to reach a height of 5 m at maturity in situ (e.g. dwarf or stunted trees) and shrub or bush cover. Excludes: Areas having the tree, shrub or bush cover specified above but of less than 0.5 ha and width of 20 m, which are classed under "other land". Land predominantly used for agricultural practices. It excludes land occupied by "trees outside the forest".
Plantation forests: Forest stands established by planting or/and seeding in the process of afforestation or reforestation. They are either of introduced species (all planted stands), or intensively managed stands of indigenous species which meet all the following criteria: one or two species at plantation, even age class, regular spacing. Excludes: Stands which were established as plantations but which have been without intensive management for a significant period of time. These should be considered semi-natural.
Principle: A fundamental law or rule as a guide to action; a rule of conduct; a fundamental motive or reason for action, especially one consciously recognized and followed. A principle is commonly formulated around a core concept based on social ethics, values, and tradition as well as on scientific knowledge. Usually principles can be expressed concisely and crisply, for example, sustainable development principle, sustained yield principle, sovereignty principle, polluter pays principle, and a set of forest principles negotiated at the World Summit (CSCE Seminar and Montreal Process, 1993).
Production forest: A forest managed to harvest forest products and to sustain the bioproductivity of the system.
Productive forest: An area of forest capable of producing wood for more than a certain predicted amount, e.g. the increment volume is more than 1 m3/ha/year in the foreseeable future.
Protected area: As defined by the International Union of Nature Conservation (IUCN) a protected area is an area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, managed through legal or other effective means.
Protection forest: A forest that is generally situated on broken ground, or ground subjected to periodic or permanent floods, and therefore rendered physically non-productive and difficult to manage, with the exception of the lands included in the category below.
Reforestation: Artificial establishment of forests on land which carried forestry before and involving the replacement of the indigenous tree species by a new and essential different species or genetic variety.
Regeneration: Re-establishment of a forest stand by natural or artificial means following the removal of the previous stand by felling or as a result of natural causes, e.g. fire or storm.
Shrub and brush land: Woody perennial plants, generally of more than 0.5 m and less than 5 m height, and often without a definite stem and crown. "Trees outside the forest" are excluded.
Sustainable development: The management and conservation of the natural resources base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. Such sustainable development (in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors) conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally viable and socially acceptable.
Sustainable forest management: It is the stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, an at a rate, that maintains their biological diversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological economic and social functions, at local, national and global levels, and that does not cause damage on other ecosystems.
Tree: A woody perennial with a single main stem, or in the case of coppice with several stems, having a more or less definite crown. Includes bamboo, palms and other woody plants meeting the above criterion. The definition excludes non-forest fruit tree species.
Trees outside forests: Trees on land other than forest or other wooded land. Includes: Trees on land that meets the definitions of forest and of other wooded land except that the area is less than 0.5 ha and the width is less than 20 m; scattered trees in permanent meadows and pastures; permanent tree crops such as fruit tree orchards and coconut palm plantations; trees in parks and gardens, around buildings, in hedgerows and in lines along streets, roads, railways, rivers, streams and canals; trees in shelterbelts and windbreaks of less than 20 m in width and 0.5 ha in area.
Unexploitable forest: Forest and other wooded land on which there are legal, economic or technical restrictions on wood and non-wood production. Includes: a) forest and other wooded land with severe legal restrictions on wood production, e.g. national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas such as those of special scientific, historical or cultural interests; b) forest and other wooded land where physical productivity is too low or harvesting and transportation costs to the nearest market are too high to warrant wood harvesting.
Unproductive forest: A forest which is not regularly managed, yielding timber less than a certain amount, e.g. the increment volume is less than 1 m3/ha/year in the foreseeable future.
Vegetation type: Mixture of vegetation covering a forest site. Used in identifying a certain forest site type, e.g. heath forest (Ministerial Conference on the Protection of European Forests and the Pan-European Forest Process; Geneva, 09/1994).
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
United Nations Environment Programme
International Tropical Timber Organization
Indian Institute of Forest Management
USDA Forest Service