Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands
The following definitions are used by Environment Canada for international reporting of national GHG emissions, as required under the UNFCCC. Canada developed these definitions to suit Canadian circumstances, based on somewhat flexible international definitions under the Kyoto Protocol, as described in the Marrakesh Accords. Those definitions are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was established to provide decision-makers and others interested in climate change with authoritative and objective information about climate change.
B.C. intends to use these Canadian definitions, to ensure credibility through consistency with national reporting. Other definitions and additional reporting may be developed for the purpose of tracking the net deforestation within British Columbia – for example, special terms could be developed for consideration of existing urban forest, urban “green” development, and narrow agricultural riparian plantings, shelterbelts and other buffers.
- Forest: A minimum area of one hectare, at least 20 meters wide, with tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level) of more than 25% with trees having the potential to reach a minimum height of 5 metres at maturity. A forest may consist of closed forest formations (where trees of various storeys and undergrowth cover a high proportion of the ground) or open forest. Young natural stands and all plantations which have yet to reach a crown density of 25% or tree height of 5 metres are considered to be forest. As well, forest includes areas normally forming part of the forest area that are temporarily unstocked as a result of human intervention (such as harvesting) or natural causes, but which are expected to revert to forest.
- Deforestation: Permanent, human-induced land use change from forest to non-forest land cover. Forest harvesting, including clearcutting, is not considered deforestation, as the land use does not change and the land cover is expected to revert to forest.
- Afforestation: The direct human-induced conversion of land that has not been forested since December 31, 1989 to forested land through planting, seeding and/or the human-induced promotion of natural seed sources.
- Zero net deforestation: Is achieved when the area of afforestation is equal to or greater than the area of deforestation.