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Global Forest Resources Assessments

Partnership in the Global Forest Resources Assessment

The bulk of data collected through the FRA comes from submissions by national governments through their National Correspondents. Governments are critical partners in the FRA - without them the FRA would not have access to official data forest-related data.  Government commitments to submit data to FAO for the FRA are fundamental to the FRA process.

Partnerships are also critical in making the FRA process more broad-based and efficient. When FRA began in 1948, FAO was the only organization collecting and reporting global forest resource information. Today there are many international and regional organizations involved in measuring, monitoring and reporting forest resource data, mostly using remote sensing with little or no information other than tree cover area estimates. In 2011, six international organizations  came together to create the Collaborative Forest Resources Questionnaire (CFRQ), representing some 100 countries and 88 percent of the world’s forest area. These organizations now jointly collect and share data on over 60 percent of the total number of variables collected through the FRA process. These data are then shared among the CFRQ partners so that countries are asked only once for this information. In other words, the data are collected once and used many times. This both reduces the reporting burden and increases data consistency across organizations. The CFRQ partnership has in the process also helped to standardize definitions and timing of data collection.

Beyond the CFRQ, partnership has also been crucial in the area of remote sensing. The global remote sensing survey was conducted with over 200 specialists from about 100 countries. In addition, a close working relationship with the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) has resulted in sharing both technical advances and the workload of global forest change analysis of Landsat data.