Global Forest Resources Assessments

FRA 2020 Remote Sensing Survey

Following the recommendations from the 23rd session of the Committee of Forestry (COFO), FRA 2020 is conducting a participatory global remote sensing survey (FRA 2020 RSS) with the scope of improving estimates of forest area change at global and regional scales. The FRA secretariat, in collaboration with the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC) and the FAO working group on remote sensing, has developed a worldwide methodology for the FRA 2020 RSS, which is also scalable to national assessments. The scope and the methodological design of the survey were defined on the basis of experiences, in particular from the previous FRA 2010 RSS and taking advantage from technological progress as well as from the increased availability of satellite imagery.

Provide independent and consistent estimates at global, regional and Global Ecological Zone (GEZ) levels on:
• Land use and land cover area in 2018.
• Changes in land use area and land cover for the periods 2000-2010, and 2010-2018.
• Deforestation drivers.
• Develop national capacities in remote sensing.
• Build up a global network of FRA RSS experts.

Image analysis is done through visual interpretation using Collect Earth Online software developed  under the Open Foris initiative by FAO in collaboration with NASA. More than 35 national and regional workshops will be implemented in 2018-2020 to train about 800 country experts and collect data on 430,000 FRA remote sensing samples. 

The development and implementation of FRA 2020 RSS strongly relies on partnerships. FRA 2020 RSS counts on financial support from European Union (EU) and Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) and technical support from the Joint Research Centre (JRC), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).