Activities pertaining to land use, land use change and forestry are known as LULUCF activities. LULUCF activities are of fundamental importance to global climate change; as such they have increasingly been thrust into the global political, environmental and economic spotlight in recent decades.
Issues surrounding LULUCF and climate change have been addressed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has prompted formation of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and significant efforts by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The efforts of these organisations have dramatically increased the industry’s knowledge and success in Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM).
LULUCF activities are closely linked to emitting and removing carbon from the atmosphere, referred to as sources and sinks of carbon (respectively). The balance between sources and sinks determine the level of global carbon stock and thus the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and biosphere. As a result, the terms of the Kyoto Protocol demand that any net changes of carbon in the atmosphere as a direct result of human induced LULUCF activities must be recorded and reported in parties GHG inventories.
For the purpose of reporting LULUCF activities the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UNFCCC also refer to ARD activities, denoting Afforestation, Reforestation and Deforestation. Afforestation and reforestation refer to planting forests on lands, which, in recent past or historically, have not contained forests. The definition of deforestation is varied but commonly include the long-term removal of forest in favour of other managed land uses, such as cropland or pasture.