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Appendix II-1: Source maps used for the delineation of FAO GEZ


Name of map



Thematic information / classification criteria

Canada and Mexico

Ecological regions of North America (CEC 1997)

1: 10 million

Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area

Holistic classification system based on climate, soils, landform, vegetation and also land use. Hierarchic system:

15 Level I ecological regions and 52 Level II regions.


Ecoregions of the USA (Bailey 1994)

1: 7.5 million

Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area

Classification based on Köppen climate system: broad domains equivalent to climate groups, subdivided into divisions approximately equivalent to climate types.

Central America

National Holdridge Life zone maps, transformed to a regional base map

Various scales

Base map at

1: 1.5 million


Holdrige Life Zones are defined using the parameters (bio)temperature, rainfall and evapotranspiration.

South America, Africa, Tropical Asia

Ecofloristic zones maps (LET 2000)

1: 5 million


28 groups of ecofloristic zones are defined, based on climate, vegetation physiognomy and physiography, i.e. altitude. The EFZ identifies the most detailed ecological units, based on the additional criteria of flora and geographic location.

Middle East

Vegetation map of the Mediterranean zone (UNESCO – FAO, 1969)

1: 5 million


Distribution of potential vegetation formations in relation to climate. The various formations are distinguished mainly on basis of physiognomy.


General Map of the Natural Vegetation of Europe. (Bohn et al., 2000)

1: 10 million


Distribution of potential natural plant communities corresponding to the actual climate and edaphic conditions. At broadest level 19 vegetation formations defined, of which 14 zonal and 5 azonal formations.

Former Soviet Union

Vegetation map of the USSR (Isachenko et al., 1990)

1: 4 million

Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area

Distribution of broad vegetation formations related to climate, altitude and also current land use. 133 vegetation classes are aggregated into 13 categories of vegetation


Geographic Distribution of China’s Main Forests (Zheng de Zhu, 1992)


Main aim to identify and map China’s forest vegetation A hierarchic classification is used based on climate and distribution of forest types and tree species. 27 Forest Divisions are mapped.


Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (Thackway et al., 1995)

1: 15 million

Albers Equal Area

Major attributes to define biogeographic regions are: climate, lithology/geology, landform, vegetation, flora and fauna and land use. A total of 80 IBRA regions have been mapped.

Caribbean, Mongolia,

Korea’s, Japan, New Zealand, Pacific Isl.

Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World (WWF 2000)



Ecoregions are defined by shared ecological features, climate and plant and animal communities. Main use is for biodiversity conservation.

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