CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

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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