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Annex I: Forest Resource Assessment Definitions (FAO)



Total1 area

Total area (of country), including area under inland water bodies, but excluding offshore territorial waters.


Land with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10 percent and area of more than 0.5 hectares (ha). The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 meters (m) at maturity in situ. May consist either of closed forest formations where trees of various stores and undergrowth cover a high proportion of the ground; or 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 5 m 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; forest in national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas such as those of specific scientific, historical, cultural or spiritual interest; windbreaks and shelterbelts of trees with an area of more than 0.5 ha and width of more than 20 m; plantations primarily used for forestry purposes, including rubberwood plantations and cork oak stands.

Excludes: Land predominantly used for agricultural practices

Other wooded land

Land either with a 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); or with shrub or bush cover of more than 10 percent.

Other land

Land not classified as forest or other wooded land as defined above. Includes agricultural land, meadows and pastures, built-on areas, barren land, etc.

Inland water

Area occupied by major rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

Trees outside forest

Trees2 on land not defined as forest and other wooded land. Includes:
Trees on land that fulfils the requirements of forest and other wooded land except that
i) The area is less than 0.5 ha;
ii) Trees able to reach a height of at least 5 m at maturity in situ but where the stocking level is below 5 percent;
iii) Trees not able to reach a height of 5 m at maturity in situ but where the stocking level is below 10 percent;
iv) Trees in shelter belts and river galleries of less than 20 m width and 0.5 ha area.
Scattered trees in permanent meadows and pastures;
Permanent tree crops, orchards and fruit-tree meadows, industrial fruits trees, coconuts and date palms;
Trees of agroforestry systems such as coffee, cocoa, home garden, agroforest
Trees in urban environments and around infrastructures, such as parks and gardens, around buildings and in lines along streets, roads, railways, rivers, streams and canals; (vii)


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: bamboos, palms and other woody plants meeting the above criterion.

Shrub and bushes

Woody perennial plants, generally of more than 0.5 m and less than 5 m and without a definite crown

1 Total land area is defined as total area excluding inland waters.
2 Trees: includes trees and shrubs; forest and non-forest species

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