PROCEEDINGS OF SUB-REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON DATA COLLECTION AND OUTLOOK EFFORT FOR FORESTRY IN THE CARIBBEAN
PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, 21-25 February 2000
1. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The Sub-Regional Workshop for the Caribbean on "Data Collection and Outlook Effort for Forestry" was held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, 21-25 February 2000. The event was organized by FAO with the financial support of the EC through the EC-FAO Partnership Programme (Tropical Forestry Budget Line B7-6201/97-15/VIII/FOR - Project GCP/INT/679/EC). The Netherlands-funded Regional Project "Support to National Forestry Programmes" financed the participation of two national experts from Cuba.
This report presents the proceedings of the workshop, including an overview of the Project, the workshop objectives and conditions, conclusions and recommendations.
1.1. Project objectives
This EC-FAO Partnership Project aims to promote sustainable management of trees and forests in the tropics, founded on policies that integrate and balance relevant economic, environmental and social aspects of forestry. It aims to strengthen national capacity to collect and compile reliable and up-to-date information on forestry and to analyse the forest sector. Specifically this Project aims to:
improve the coverage, timeliness and quality of data concerning forestry, including extending data compilation to include nationally available items, which are of importance for sustainable forest management, but not yet aggregated and readily available on a regional and global scale;
develop a framework for collecting and disseminating at national level, essential data which are not yet commonly available; and
conduct regional forestry sector outlook studies and formulate appropriate policies.
1.2. Project implementation tasks
One of the activities of the project is to organize regional workshops to review and assess the availability, accuracy and completeness of current statistics. These should invite and attract a broad based review and discussion in each region drawing from the public and private sector with the explicit participation of both local and regional non-governmental organizations. The workshops should focus on a review of the existing situation and suggest viable options for the collection and use of data. They should also involve regional institutions as the host of the workshop and partners in the analysis.
The expected results from the workshops are regional assessments (drawn from national reports) that will validate the compiled statistics and improve the institutional capacity to collect and disseminate information.
1.3. Workshop objectives
The objectives of the workshop in the Caribbean were to:
promote data acquisition by individual countries to provide information for sustainable forest management at the national level which can also be used for planning and identification of trends regionally and internationally;
review country data and develop procedures to strengthen country data and link it to international data;
provide information and training on standardised international definitions and tabular formats for forestry sector data;
contribute to country capacity for the collection and effective use of forestry sector data;
develop opportunities for further cooperation between the participating countries, including establishment of a network of correspondents; and
develop processes to prepare individual country and regional forestry outlook study reports.
Forestry data can be logically divided into data concerning forest resources and forest products. Additional objectives specific to these two sectors included the following:
For forest products:
review of the classification and definition of products, coverage and units of measurement with particular reference to the products and practices in the selected countries;
discussion of standards and methodologies for data collection and validation;
discussion and demonstration of the use of information technology; and
review of country data on production and prices of forest products, industry capacity, and trade, including production of fuelwood and non-wood forest products.
For forest resources:
review of classification, definition, and structure of forest resources data;
discussion on strategies and methodologies for data collection, processing and dissemination;
review and validation of FAO and national data; and
discussion of problems, constraints, and capacity needs.
In addition to the above, the regional workshop was also intended to:
provide information on the purpose and background of the project;
explain the value and use of internationally shared data;
provide training on internationally standardised terminology, definitions and data structure;
provide an opportunity to verify, update, and add missing data for each country;
document linkages between country and internationally shared data;
identify needs and follow-up actions for country capacity building; and
provide opportunities for cooperation, both between countries and with international organizations and NGOs.
1.4. Implementing processes for the workshop
The workshop was implemented along the following lines:
FAO provided to the participants a working draft of forestry sector data definitions and tabular formats;
FAO provided to each country existing data for review in advance of the workshop; this consisted of filled-out tables, country briefs, and data sources and references from the various FAO programmes which collect and use this data;
the countries verified, updated and provided missing data in preparation for the meeting;
individual countries and FAO worked together to select participants who could best contribute to the objectives of the workshop;
the Project supported country participation by paying travel and DSA for selected participants.
Following the workshop, individual country data will be finalised in-country using assistance from FAO staff or consultants. A regional outlook study will also be prepared, based on the country data collected at the workshop and during follow-up activities.
1.5. Location, timing, and participating countries
The Caribbean workshop was one of five regional workshops planned in the project. Countries participating in each of these workshops are listed below:
Nov. - Dec.
Sept. -Oct. 1999
Central African Republic
Antigua & Barbuda
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
St. Kitts & Nevis
Trinidad & Tobago
Uni. West Indies
Underlined and bold: pilot study countries.
Countries already carrying out pilot studies are shown underlined and in bold. Other pilot studies may be organized as requested at these workshops.