Global: Does the UN definition of forest include livestock country? FAO's answer here

Published May 27, 2024

Tridge summary

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has clarified that its definition of a forest excludes agricultural land. This clarification comes amidst confusion and debate, particularly in Australia, regarding the new European Union deforestation trade regulations and their potential impact on the Australian beef industry. The forestry division of the UN FAO defined a forest as a minimum of 0.5 hectares with trees over 5 meters high and a canopy cover of more than 10%, excluding land predominantly used for agricultural or urban purposes. This definition is crucial for countries like Australia to align with international standards and to meet the demands for deforestation-free credentials. However, green groups argue that the UN definition should include agriculture to properly address deforestation issues. Meanwhile, Cattle Australia is working on a definition of deforestation that suits Australia's land management practices and biodiversity, supported by cattle producers. This effort has faced criticism from green groups, who view it as an attempt by farmers to manipulate the rules to their favor.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by Tridge's proprietary AI model for informational purposes.

Original content

The proportion and distribution of global forest area by climatic domain in 2020; as provided by the forestry division of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has put to rest heated debate in Australia over whether its definition of forest includes agricultural land. It does not. Against a backdrop of extreme concern about how new European Union deforestation trade regulations will affect beef produced on Australian properties where woody weed is regularly controlled, the push from many cattle producers has been to run with the UN definition of what constitutes a forest. There has been confusion about the official definition with green groups arguing the UN's definition does include agricultural land and indeed, there are numerous UN websites where that definition is quoted. There are other UN websites which say the opposite. In response to a request from ACM Agri for clarification, the forestry division ...
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