Help end the misinformation and confusion
Please join this discussion aimed at establishing a separate set of clear and accurate descriptions and definitions for the different kinds of tree plantations, so that it will be possible to make a clear distinction between them and forests.
The Open Letter sent to the CBD Secretariat lays out some of the problematic issues that have arisen as a consequence of the misleading and obfuscatory language being used to describe tree plantations, particularly of the large-scale (industrial) kind, as ‘forests’ or various derivatives thereof, such as “reforestation”. This euphemistic language has wormed its way into general usage and perversely incentivised the on-going global expansion of tree plantations into areas where they damage ecosystems, water resources and biological diversity, and are neither desired, nor required, by affected local communities.
For the FAO’s purposes, any bunch of trees, whether part of a richly biodiverse old-growth forest, or a “planted forest” (industrial tree plantation) of invasive pine or eucalyptus trees, that has caused the destruction of rare grassland or other natural vegetation including real forests, or even smallholder farms, are basically considered to be of equal value, as stores of timber or carbon. Nevertheless, the tired old timber industry mantra continues to be regurgitated in articles such as this: http://blog.cifor.org/47752/green-deserts-or-functional-forests?fnl=en
In simple terms, tree plantations must not be disguised as something that they are not, through the use of inaccurate or misleading terminology.
Feel free to submit any suggestions or questions.