FRA 2010 NEWS 03

Welcome

We are pleased to present the third issue of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 E-Newsletter, the FRA 2010 News. With this newsletter we aim to connect all FRA national and international partners and other resource assessment professionals and to bring you the latest FRA 2010 related information.

In this issue you will find information on the progress of the different components of FRA 2010, on the forest products statistics and on national forest monitoring and assessment systems. It also provides information on the FRA regional and subregional workshops and meetings related to FRA. 

All issues of the FRA 2010 News are posted online at: www.fao.org/forestry/site/48835/en.


Contents

  1. Country reporting process
  2. Regional workshops
  3. National Correspondents Network
  4. Remote Sensing Survey
  5. Special studies
  6. Forest products statistics
  7. National Forest Programmes
  8. National forest monitoring and assessment (NFMA)
  9. Meetings

1. Country reporting process

The deadline for the submission of the draft FRA 2010 Country Reports (March 2009) is approaching. So far, more than 100 draft national reports have been received and reviewed. In order to allow enough time for feedback and comments and to ensure that the final report is ready by the end of May 2009, it is crucial that draft reports are submitted well in advance of the deadline.

National Correspondents who still have not submitted their first draft report are kindly requested to do so as soon as possible. At the same time we strongly encourage those National Correspondents whose draft reports have been reviewed and discussed during the regional workshops to submit their revised country reports.


2. Regional workshops

From October to December 2008, FAO and partner organizations organized nine regional and subregional workshops with the aim of providing the National Correspondents with the technical assistance and guidance necessary to ensure high-quality reporting which meets the specifications established for FRA 2010. The workshops represented a great opportunity for all the National Correspondents to share their experiences with colleagues at regional and subregional level and to clarify issues and difficulties related to the FRA 2010 country reporting process through an in-depth review of the draft reports.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the National Correspondents that participated with interest and dedication and helped to ensure the success of the FRA workshops. For more information (agenda, list of participants and workshop reports) please see:
http://www.fao.org/forestry/53018/en/.

Please also note that an updated version of the Frequently Asked Questions based on discussions at the workshops will soon be available on our Website.


3. National Correspondents network

FRA 2010 relies on a network of National Correspondents from 177 countries.

We would like to extend a special welcome to Oman which is our most recent newcomer as well as to those new national correspondents and alternates who have replaced colleagues who have moved on to other positions.

If you are aware of any changes of national correspondents and/or alternates that have still not been communicated to FAO, please send an email to  fra@fao.org and ask your authorities to proceed with a new official nomination. For further information and details on the National Correspondents Network, see: www.fao.org/forestry/42756/en/.  


4. Remote Sensing Survey

The Remote Sensing Survey (RSS) component of FRA 2010 has been progressing with staff at FAO and also our partners. Key activities to note:

a. RSS Pilot study workshop dates set for March 30 to April 3 in Rome

We have selected over 20 countries to participate in the Task-force to test the methodology for the RSS and are planning a training workshop to test the systems developed for viewing and labelling the imagery.

b. Website for image viewing and downloading FRA sample images

A website has been set up by South Dakota State University (FRA partner in the RSS) to show the locations of all the FRA RSS sample sites and some examples of Landsat and MODIS imagery. (www.fao.org/forestry/53123/en).
You can download locations in shapefile format for use in GIS or Google Earth KMZ format. A subset of around 200 Landsat images are available as examples that will be used in the Pilot Study to test methods during early 2009.

c. Remote Sensing Survey brochure prepared

A brochure has been prepared to inform people about the RSS and is available at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra2010-remotesensing/en/

What countries can do now to prepare for the full scale implementation of the RSS in 2009:

  • Read the FAO RSS website: http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra2010-remotesensing/en/ .
  • Identify a National remote Sensing Focal Point. This should be a person with remote sensing experience who can coordinate other relevant agencies within the country. He or she can be the FRA National Correspondent but does not have to be if there are other people with more appropriate remote sensing skills.
  • Start compiling national forest spatial data, and any imagery or other ancillary data that will be useful to compare with the RSS data.

If you want further information, please look at the website and/or contact us at fra@fao.org


5. Special studies

As for FRA 2005, a number of special studies are planned for FRA 2010.

Special study on forest degradation

The FRA 2010 special study on forest degradation aims to identify different aspects of forest degradation and the best practices for assessing them. Expected outputs of this study are:

  • awareness of the many facets of forest degradation depending on different viewpoints;
  • operational definitions of components of forest degradation;
  • tools to  help assess and monitor forest degradation or components thereof.

The study is being carried out in collaboration with members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and with the UN-REDD programme. 

A questionnaire has recently been distributed to all National Correspondents to the FRA process to obtain information on definitions, parameters, methodologies and case studies relating to forest degradation.

A concept note explaining what the work is about can be found on the CPF site at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/53798/en/.

The questionnaire can be directly accessed at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/media/16949/1/0/. If you have not yet submitted the completed questionnaire, please do so as soon as possible. After that we will start analysing the responses and identifying case studies. 

For further information about this study please email Victoria.Heymell@fao.org.


6. Forest products statistics

The 2007 data of the Forest Products Statistics were released on 12 January 2009 on the FAO website: http://faostat.fao.org/site/630/default.aspx . 

This part of the FAOSTAT database includes data on the production and trade of primary forest products from 1961 to 2007 for all countries and territories of the world. The latest figures will enable the calculation of the 2005 average figures for Table 11 in the FRA 2010 Country Reports. Please have a look at the figures posted and let us know if you notice any mistakes or discrepancies.

A Workshop on Forest Products Statistics for National Statistical Correspondents will be held from 16-19 February 2009 Moscow. The workshop will bring together the national statistical correspondents from 12 member countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan) of FAO/UNECE to share experiences related to the forest products statistical processes in their countries and to identify and discuss constraints in the production of forest products statistics. It will also provide opportunities for the national correspondents to improve their skills, and thus their countries’ ability to fulfil commitments under international agreements to provide reliable data and to enhance national capacities in this area through the exchange of knowledge.


7. National forest programmes

Many countries are implementing a "national forest programme" (nfp) promoting active participation of all forest stakeholders (Ministries, academics, NGOs, industries, communities) in forest sector development. In each one, a nfp focal point has been nominated and is coordinating the programme activities including the compilation of information related to national forest policies and institutions. This information that can be very useful to fill tables 14 to 17 of your national FRA report.

The list of nfp focal points can be found at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/49095/en/.

41 nfp updates have recently been published on the FAO website at: http://www.fao.org/forestry/18332/en/.

Please consult your nfp focal point and these updates before submitting your report.


8. National forest monitoring and assessment (NFMA)

In November 26-28 2008, FAO convened an international expert consultation where 34 prominent experts from 16 countries and eight international organizations gathered at FAO Headquarters to review FAO’s support to member countries in NFMA in light of the new demands on countries to assess forest carbon, land use and land use changes and other reporting requirements.

The main objective of the expert consultation was to explore ways to enhance the FAO NFMA programme to meet increasing country needs through monitoring forest cover and land use change and in generating the required information for national planning purposes and international negotiations. Specifically, the expert consultation focused on: (i) identifying strengths and weaknesses of the FAO approach to NFMA in relation to monitoring the UN Program called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), (ii) identifying requirements of national and international policy, strategic planning and reporting and assess NFMA program capacity to meet these requirements and (iii) providing guidance on how to present and disseminate information and results of the NFMAs effectively to make them accessible to policy and decision makers in countries for domestic use and reporting to international processes.

A complete set of information regarding the Expert Consultation as well as the Proceedings can be found here: http://www.fao.org/forestry/52821/en/.


9. Meetings

COFO 2009/World Forest Week

The 19th session of the Committee on Forestry/World Forest Week, will take place from 16 March to 20 March 2009. The Committee on Forestry (COFO) is the highest statutory body for FAO’s work in Forestry. The biennial sessions of COFO (held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy) bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action.

A number of side events have been planned and among them there will be a presentation on FRA 2010 on Tuesday 17 and the FRA advisory group will meet on Wednesday 18.

For more information related to COFO please see: http://www.fao.org/forestry/cofo/en/.

WFC XIII

At its 128th session, the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) selected the Republic of Argentina to organize the XIII World Forestry Congress to be held from 18 to 25 October 2009 in the city of Buenos Aires.

This event – held every six years – is expected to attract about 6 000 participants from more than 160 countries. The Congress will include one week of presentations, discussions, round-table discussions, parallel events and exhibits. The theme for the XIII World Forestry Congress will be “Forests in development: a vital balance.” It will offer opportunities to analyze the social, ecological and economic aspects of natural resources in a local, regional and global context.

To find out more: http://www.cfm2009.org.

last updated:  Friday, March 6, 2009