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An area of land spanning more than 0.05 hectares with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 10 percent with trees with the potential to reach a minimum height of 2-5 meters at maturity in situ. Actual definitions can vary from country to country as the Kyoto Protocol permits countries to specify the precise definition within these parameters to be used for national accounting of emissions.


KAROUSAKIS, K. and COFFEE-MORLOT, J. as quoted in Global Canopy Programme, "Glossary of Terms" - "The Little REDD Book. A Guide to governmental and non-governmental proposals for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation." (Global Canopy Foundation, November 2008.) Financing Mechanisms to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation: Issues in Design and Implementation. Paris Cedex 16, France: OECD. Jan 2007.

Alternative definition

A forest is an area with a high density of trees. There are several definitions of forest currently in use: the FAO defines forest as having a minimum canopy cover of 10%, minimum tree height in situ of 5 meters, a minimum area of 0.5 hectares, and where agriculture is not the dominant land use. The UNFCCC defines forests as having a minimum canopy cover of 10-30%, minimum tree height of 2-5m and minimum area of 0.1ha.