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Defintion of Forests: A Review

The definition of word "Forest" differs from region to region, and country to country based on the objectives of management, land use, vegetation type, composition, altitude, etc. and there are over 800 definitions world wide. India has no definition of the word "forest" or "forest land" in the two major central Acts i.e Indian Forest Act 1927, and Forest Conservation Act 1980, but the Honorable Supreme Court of India in W.P No. 202/95 has defined the term "forest land", occurring in Section 2 of F.C Act, as it will not only include "forest" as understood in the dictionary sense, but also any area recorded as forest in the Government records irrespective of the ownership. Keeping in view the wide variety of definitions worldwide and the requirement of global efforts to mitigate adverse effects of deforestation and climate change, some common and workable definitions have been evolved by international organisations like FAO, UNFCCC, with certain parameters like crown cover, area and tree height in terms of threshold values, and they are being widely used for the purposes of assessment of forest area, growing stock, A&R projects under Kyoto protocol, etc. The threshold values of the parameters chosen for definition and the wording of definition, play a crucial role in legal interpretation of land use, assessment of extent of forest area and its resources, development/ evolution of policy frame work and planning by a country, conservation and sustainable forest management.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Food and Agriculture Organization FAO
  • Forest cover
  • Forest policy and administration
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Hong Kong
  • Korea (Democratic People's Republic of)
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Sri Lanka
  • Viet Nam
Copyright Unclear copyright
Access and use constraints

No access or use constraints are specified

Version / Edition 1.0
License unspecified

D. Venkateswarlu

+91 9390317101

Author (individual) D. Venkateswarlu
Publication place New Delhi, India
Publisher TERI University
Publication date 2013
Pagination 15
Keywords Forest Definition,Policy,Conservation,Sustainable Forest Management
Date uploaded February 17, 2018, 17:42 (UTC)
Date modified February 20, 2018, 08:26 (UTC)