Forest Resources Assessment WP 42

FRA 2000

Proceedings of the FAO expert consultation to review the FRA 2000 methodology for regional and global forest change assessment

Rome, 2000

The Forest Resources Assessment Programme

Forests are crucial for the well-being of humanity. They provide foundations for life on earth through ecological functions, by regulating the climate and water resources, and by serving as habitats for plants and animals. Forests also furnish a wide range of essential goods such as wood, food, fodder and medicines, in addition to opportunities for recreation, spiritual renewal and other services.

Today, forests are under pressure from expanding human populations, which frequently leads to the conversion or degradation of forests into unsustainable forms of land use. When forests are lost or severely degraded, their capacity to function as regulators of the environment is also lost, increasing flood and erosion hazards, reducing soil fertility, and contributing to the loss of plant and animal life. As a result, the sustainable provision of goods and services from forests is jeopardized.

FAO, at the request of the member nations and the world community, regularly monitors the world’s forests through the Forest Resources Assessment Programme. The next report, the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FRA 2000), will review the forest situation by the end of the millennium. FRA 2000 will include country-level information based on existing forest inventory data, regional investigations of land-cover change processes, and a number of global studies focusing on the interaction between people and forests. The FRA 2000 report will be made public and distributed on the World Wide Web in the year 2000.

The Forest Resources Assessment Programme is organized under the Forest Resources Division (FOR) at FAO headquarters in Rome. Contact persons are:

Robert Davis FRA Programme Coordinator [email protected]

Peter Holmgren FRA Project Director [email protected]

or use the e-mail address: [email protected]


The Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) Working Paper Series is designed to reflect the activities and progress of the FRA Programme of FAO. Working Papers are not authoritative information sources – they do not reflect the official position of FAO and should not be used for official purposes. Please refer to the FAO forestry website ( for access to official information.

The FRA Working Paper Series provides an important forum for the rapid release of preliminary FRA 2000 findings needed for validation and to facilitate the final development of an official quality-controlled FRA 2000 information set. Should users find any errors in the documents or have comments for improving their quality they should contact either Robert Davis or Peter Holmgren at [email protected].


The Forest Resources Assessment 2000 Programme would like to thank all the participants who attended the expert consultation. Their experience and knowledge was invaluable in making the meeting a success. Our special thanks also to Mr. Risto Päivinen and Mr. Andrew Gillespie, Jr., who prepared the background document and contributed substantially to the facilitation of the meeting and the development of the daily minutes.

The Governments of Finland, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom provided support for the Forest Resources Assessment 2000 Programme and this workshop in addition to the regular programme contributions of all the FAO member countries. The Governments of Denmark, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, and the United States of America have also provided valuable in-kind contributions of goods and services to the assessment and/or the funding of Associate Professional Officers.

This report is based on daily minutes, technical discussions and working sessions of the meeting and the background document. The purpose of this report is to present a new proposal for estimating forest-cover change based on existing country information. FRA 2000 expects that the results of this meeting will contribute to an improved understanding of the world’s forest resources and how they are changing over time.

Paper drafted by: Hivy Ortiz-Chour and Robert Davis
Editorial production by: Patrizia Pugliese


1 Introduction
1.1 Opening of the session and welcome to participants
1.2 Secretariat
1.3 FRA objectives
1.4 Implementation of FRA 2000
1.5 Expert consultation presentation, justification and objectives

2 Background information about forest cover change analysis
2.1 Type of information and collection process
2.2 Country data
2.3 Strengths, constrains and lessons learnt from previous assessments

3 Existing data sources for change assessment
3.1 Data assessment report
3.2 Summary data assessment report

4 Data synthesis into estimates: modelling, convergence of evidence and remote sensing
4.1 Modelling sub-group
4.2 Convergence sub-group: weighting procedure
4.3 Remote sensing sub-group

5 Preliminary results: apply, test and document methods for Bolivia, Cameroon, Indonesia and Viet Nam
5.1 Results of Bolivia test (see Appendix 3)

5.2 Results of Cameroon test (see Appendix 4)
5.3 Results of Viet Nam and Indonesia test (see Appendix 6)

6 Special presentations
6.1 Brazil, RADDAM Project
6.2 Costa Rica, forest cover change
6.3 FRA 2000 global maps

6.4 Forest Resources Information System
6.5 World Forest Survey

7 Recommendations by the expert panel

8 References

Appendix 1: Data quality information map

Appendix 2 : Forest change assessment parameters for estimating utility of existing data sources for change assessment

Appendix 3: Results of Bolivia test

Appendix 4: Results of Cameroon test

Appendix 5: Results from, Indonesia and Vietnam

Appendix 6: List of Participants

Appendix 7: Meeting agenda

FRA Working Papers

Top Of Page