…the current definition of forests used by the UN is problematic. It includes plantations, branding them ‘planted forests’, and thereby promotes their expansion. But branding a plantation a ‘forest’ is like branding a big swimming pool a ‘lake’. Tree plantations are not forests. A forest is a complex, biodiversity-rich, self-regenerating system, consisting of soil, water, a microclimate, and a wide variety of plants and animals in mutual coexistence. Forests host more than 70 per cent of terrestrial biodiversity. Some 1.6 billion people rely on forests, including 60 million indigenous people who are entirely dependent upon them for their livelihoods, food, medicines and building materials. They have rights that we need to respect, strengthen, and promote. Monoculture plantations have no biodiversity and require ongoing human intervention – including fertilisation, as ‘weeds’ must be removed using herbicides and pesticides. You can’t replace a forest — New Internationalist (via humulus)
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