Peter Holmgren

16 August 2005



Meeting with authors of the FAO-IUFRO

on-line Knowledge Reference for National Forest Assessments


Brisbane, 9 August 2005



Christoph Kleinn

David Reed

Yousif Hussin

Göran Ståhl

Peter Holmgren

1.     Introduction


Peter Holmgren welcomed the participants and provided a brief update of the Knowledge Reference work.


Three discussion topics were identified for the meeting:

- Immediate steps to improve the knowledge reference into a ¿version 1¿

- Process to receive feedback from users

- Longer term development


2.     Immediate steps towards a ¿version 1¿


There was agreement that the Reference needed an overall editorial review to ensure consistent contents and a good flow between the chapters. Göran and Peter will seek two knowledgeable outside reviewers for this. The objective would be to provide (a) feedback on the Reference as a whole, and (b) feedback to each chapter author on proposed changes. Provided the suggested changes would be small, it was agreed that authors should amend their chapters. For more substantial changes, a contractual arrangement may be needed.


It was agreed that the draft ¿Scenarios¿ chapter may need structural changes, or possibly be split into separate chapters. Göran/Peter will discuss with the author.


Once an agreed ¿version 1¿ exists in English, FAO will translate the online contents into French and Spanish.


It was agreed that chapters need to be laid out for printing (e.g. as pdf files), to make them easier to use.


It was also agreed that once a ¿version 1¿ of good quality is there, it would be useful to make a printed version of the Reference. A useful format would be as a FAO Forestry Paper, thus replacing the FAO Forest inventory manual from the early 1980¿s. Printing in three languages (English, French and Spanish) was recommended.

3.     Process for user feedback


A short discussion on feedback rendered that there is no direct need for more scientific review as (a) each chapter is to be peer-reviewed by scientists, and (b) an external review of the overall contents will be made (see previous point)


However, direct feedback from users, in particular students and professionals implementing national forest assessments would be useful for further development.


No action was anticipated before the ¿version 1¿ exists


4.     Longer term opportunities


The current scope of subjects/chapters in the Reference was considered relevant and no major changes anticipated.


The discussion instead covered the issue of networking. As no global professional network exists on ¿national forest assessments¿, there may be a case to start one (cf other forestry subjects), and to connect it to the development of the Reference. Such a network would require among other things:


- coordination

- organization of member information

- facilitate communication, meetings and exchange of expertise

- newsletter


There is an opportunity to engage four communities as a startup for such a network: (a) the COST project network in Europe, (b) the professionals engaged in FAO NFA projects worldwide, (c) the national correspondents to the global FRA. , (d) the IUFRO, partially new, officers mainly in Division 4.


It was agreed that a nfa network would be a good initiative and Göran and Peter will look into the possibilities to organize it.

last updated:  Wednesday, October 19, 2005