Trees Outside Forests (TOF) in India have been planted as avenue plantations along the roads/ highways/paths and, in farms/parks, in homesteads/tea/coffee estates. The importance of TOF has been increased in the last few decades, especially, after the launch of social forestry programmes in India since late 1970s. The Union Ministry of Agriculture has pronounced a National Agroforestry Policy in 2014 for the promotion of agroforestry in India. Trees outside forests have also been planted under MGNREGA and watershed programmes etc. Also, Trees outside Forest has become the main source of raw materials for the wood based Industries (Solid wood, Composite wood, Paper and Pulp Industries) in the country. Trees outside Forest are as important as our natural forest. Due to fragmentary nature and widespread landscape of the plantations the management of TOF has become a bigger challenge. It is believed that bringing TOF in purview of certification will eliminate the market barriers, support farmers and private tree growers for optimum price and also encourage some of the best management practices to sustainably grow and manage TOF. The certification, inter alia, ensures sustainable management of TOF. Network for the Certification and Conservation of Forest (NCCF), a non-profit organization, has developed the certification standard for the TOF resource through the Standard Development Group (SDG) following an open, transparent and consultative process. The SDG comprised a wide range of stakeholders viz, tree growers, wood based and paper pulp industries, research and academic institutions, experts, forest departments, NGOs etc. Besides a series of SDG meetings, there have been online consultations, workshops, field visits, public consultations to finalise the standard after pilot testing of the same in the field.


Standard: NCCF-STD-ToF-01/2019

The NCCF Trees Outside Forest (TOF) certification standard contains 28 Criteria and 98 indicators. This standard is applicable to trees planted on outside Forest area including, block plantations, urban trees and forests (UTF) and isolated/linear/scattered trees. Trees outside Forest mostly occur in below two forms:

1. Block Formations

  1. Urban trees and forests
  2. Agroforestry

2. Non-Block Formations

  1. Scattered Trees
  2. Avenue Plantations/Multipurpose lots
  3. Along highways, railway lines, etc.

GIPL’s Provisional Approval for TOF Certification: Under Consideration

For more details, contact:

Abhijit Sharan

Assistant Manager, Natural Resources Division | +91-9940122885