National Definition of Forest – Notification

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National Definition of Forest

A minimum area of Land of 0.5 ha with a tree crown cover of more than 10% comprising trees with the potential to reach a minimum height of 2 meters.

This will also include existing irrigated plantations as well as areas those have already been defined as Forests in respective legal documents and expected to meet the required thresholds as defined in the National Forest Definition of Pakistan.

National Definition of Forest - Forestrypedia
Notification of National Definition of Forest

Let me know in comments below if any updated notification has been issued, please.



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14 Replies to “National Definition of Forest – Notification”

  1. Its a good way to increase the tree cover in country. By this definition if you have two trees in half hectare it will be considered as forest😊 so, by this definition just by changing definition of forest Pak gov increased forest cover in pakistan from less than 5 perecent to 15 percent or more without planting a Tree. What a shrude nation we are.

    1. This definition was not finalized at once. A number of seminars/workshops held in each province and ultimately this definition was finalized.

    2. Hi Ishfaq,
      You have got some valid points there. Allow me to explain.

      1. Two trees in 0.5 ha BUT with a tree crown cover of more than 10% (of the 0.5 ha area). That means the crown cover of those two tree should be more than 0.05 ha (22 m x 22 m or a diameter of 25 m (approx.)). IF only two trees are that big, then they do qualify to be called a forest. Forest is not just the number of standing stems, it is the also the area covered by the crown projection.

      2. If some official tried to use that trick and reported that the forest cover in Pakistan has increased from 5% to 15%, I don’t think people will let him/her go away with that. That will be a gross statistical error! The yardstick of measurement, which is the forest definition in this case, should be the same when comparing two numbers. We cannot compare apples with oranges.

      For example, if the forest cover in year 2010 was 5%, the government didn’t plant a single tree, changed the definition of forest in 2018 and claimed a 10% increase (total 15%) in 2018. Then, satellite imagery (archives available for free) from 2010 and 2018 can be used to work out forest cover, using the new definition, for both years and we can find out whether or not there was a 10% increase in those 08 years.

      So, my guess would be that if the government didn’t plant a single tree between 2010 and 2018 and we did some image analysis, we may find the following:
      a) With previous definition, 5% in 2010; whereas, 5%±2% (allowing for some error) in 2018
      b) With the new definition, 15% in 2018; whereas, 15%±2% (allowing for some error) in 2010

      And I can’t agree more, yes, we are a shrewd nation 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Irfan Akhtar Iqbal

      1. Thanks Irfan Akhtar. I would like to add that this is the particular reason this time a historical assessment has been conducted using years of 1996-2000-2004-2008-2012 and 2016. So Oranges will be compared with Oranges only 🙂 Great to know all the colleagues are taking interest.

  2. This definition makes only sense for developed countries where more advanced remote sensing technology ( i.e. airborne laser scanning LiDAR) are available for an entire country, from which trees height, forest cover, and the area can be easily estimated. It is extremely difficult to estimate trees height as mentioned 2 m, trees cover, and forest area for large geographical forest area like northern Pakistan. Better to first introduce more advanced remote sensing technology in Pakistan, and than to think about adopting this kind of definition. At the moment this definition is highly questionable in Pakistan.

    1. a great analysis of the definition. though much has been stated over this definition yet the concern shown by yourself are worth considering.

    2. Its only a matter of understanding. Redd+ is for developing countries and all the redd countries have adopted a definition irrespective of availability of advanced remote sensing techniques. Definition is afoundation of every measurement and nobody is stopping you to introduce LIDAR in Pakistan. Please do not undermine the achievement of a country who never had a definition of international standard.

      1. The definition has been finalized, surely, based on some sound grounds. Can you share some details in this regards?

  3. That’s true! ‘The right man for the right job’ should be the idea. The Ministry of Climate Change gave us a definition, now the remote sensing community will help us introduce advanced sensors.

    On a lighter note, technologies are there to fulfil our needs/requirements, not that we should mould our requirements to suit technology.

    Kind regards,
    Irfan Akhtar Iqbal
    (PS: We all know each other very well. Let’s join hands, work together and try to make something better out of it. Naeem Javid sb is providing a platform. Well done Naeem sb!)

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