Global Forest Resources Assessments

Remote Sensing

Since 1990, FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) complements the information collected through the country reporting process with global and regional analysis of the world’s forest resources using remote sensing. With better access to a growing archive of satellite imagery and availability of new tools to facilitate image processing and interpretation, remote sensing is becoming an important tool for the assessment of status and changes in tree cover and land use. FAO has conducted Remote Sensing Surveys (RSS) as part of the FRA 1990, FRA 2000, FRA 2010, FRA 2015 and now FRA 2020 in close collaboration with FAO Members and other partners. The objectives of the RSS are to build country capacities to use remote sensing for forest monitoring as well as to generate independent, robust and consistent estimates of forest area and its changes over time at global, regional and biome levels

An improved Remote Sensing Survey was launched in 2018 in the context of FRA 2020. While the FRA 2020 RSS builds on the experiences from the previous FRA RSS, it applies recent technological developments and emphasizes strongly on local field knowledge through an expanded network of national FRA remote sensing focal points.