Biodiversity Implications of Forestry Offsets in Annex I Countries

To maintain consistency the definitions used to describe plantation forestry are those that have been adopted by the UNFCCC in Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol (United Nations, 1998), which recognizes removals of greenhouse gases by human-induced land-use change and forestry activities. A meeting of the parties to the Protocol (UNFCCC, 2006: 5) defined the allowable activities in the first commitment period (2008-2012) as follows:

• Afforestation (A): The direct human-induced conversion of land that has not been forested for a period of at least 50 years to forested land through planting, seeding and/or the human-induced promotion of natural seed sources.

• Reforestation (R): The direct human-induced conversion of non-forested land to forested land through planting, seeding and/or the human-induced promotion of natural seed sources, on land that was forested but that has been converted to non-forested land. For the first commitment period reforestation activities will be limited to reforestation occurring on those lands that did not contain forests on 31 December 1989.

The importance of these definitions from a biodiversity viewpoint is that they exclude the possibility that native forests can be cleared for A/R.

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