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Forests and deforestation: Definitions, thresholds and implications

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Key Messages

Defining the term ‘forest’ and the inseparable concepts of ‘deforestation’ and ‘forest degradation’ is a prerequisite for strategies aiming to eliminate imported deforestation from tropical commodity supply chains. The definition must form part of a well-defined legal and political framework; it must be consensual, pragmatic and customizable to the variety of ecological contexts in countries producing commodities likely to exacerbate deforestation (Eba’a Atyi, 2021). This undertaking could expose conflicts of opinion between consumers concerned about the environment and producer countries with development goals.


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