On the occasion of March 21st, International Day of Forests, the FAO launched a spot that addresses the importance of forests for water. The video maintains that “forests are vital for our water supply”and it urges us to take care of them, “because every drop counts.” However, the very FAO continues to call industrial tree monoculture—that is large-scale plantations—“forests.” Rather than conserve water, these kinds of plantations consume huge amounts of it, and whatever their end purpose, the trees will be cut down and taken from the land after each growth cycle. Industrial tree plantations are, among other things, a way to appropriate communities’ water.
At WRM we have produced a video that tries to show what the FAO spot would be like if it were consistent with the organization’s own definition of forests.
We urge the FAO once again to change its definition of forests, which currently allows real forests to be replaced with industrial tree plantations, and does not consider this deforestation.
Plantations are not forests!