Data Collection and Analysis for Sustainable Forest Management in ACP Countries - Linking National and International Efforts

(EC-FAO Partnership Programme (1998-2001) - Project GCP/INT/679/EC)

Field data collection


This EC-FAO Partnership Project aims to promote the sustainable management of trees and forests in African ACP countries, by helping them to develop policies that integrate and balance all of the relevant economic, environmental and social aspects of forestry. It aims to do this by strengthening the capacity in countries to collect and compile reliable information about forestry and to use this information for the development of forestry policies.

The specific objectives of the Project are as follows:

  • to improve the coverage, timeliness and quality of forestry statistics in Africa;
  • to help countries to develop procedures and methodologies for data collection and dissemination; and
  • to help countries to formulate appropriate forestry policies that are based on improved information about the sector.


Most project activities have been implemented by national and regional institutions in Africa with technical assistance and guidance from FAO. Activities have included workshops and the production of reports in the following main areas:

  • Data collection workshops. Workshops have been held to review and assess the current availability, accuracy and completeness of forestry statistics and to suggest viable options for the collection and use of statistics in the future. These workshops have included a broad-based review of forestry information with participants from the public and private sector as well as local and regional non-governmental organisations.
  • Thematic country reports. Country reports have been produced by individuals and institutions working in African countries. These reports present information about a number of different aspects of forestry, including the following: forest resources; forest plantations; trees outside forests; non-wood forest products (NWFP); forest products; and woodfuel.
  • Pilot studies. Pilot studies have been implemented to test data collection methodologies on some of the above topics in a limited number of African countries.
  • Outlook study workshops. Workshops have been held to discuss the trends and prospects for the development of the forestry sector in Africa as part of the Forestry Outlook Study for Africa (FOSA).
  • Outlook study reports. Country reports and thematic studies have been produced for the Forestry Outlook Study for Africa (FOSA).


Workshop proceedings. Workshop proceedings include copies of country papers presented at the workshops plus a record of the discussions and conclusions reached at the workshops. Workshops have been held to discuss data collection and the outlook for the forestry sector in Africa.

Thematic and country reports. Thematic and country reports include the contributions of experts working in the African forestry sector on the topics listed above. In addition to presenting statistics, the reports on data collection include descriptions and analyses of the processes used to collect and disseminate information as well as suggestions about how information management might be improved in the future. The contents of these reports fall broadly into two categories: forest resources and forest products. The outlook study reports include reports on the outlook for forestry in individual African countries and reports on various themes at the regional and subregional level.

Other results

In addition to the production of reports, this Project has also led to a number of other results. Statistics presented in country reports have been used to update the FAO forest products statistical database (FAOSTAT) and have been used as an input to the Global Forest Resources Assessment. As a result, the best forestry statistics that are currently available in these countries have been widely disseminated to a large audience through FAO's global presence on the Internet and in other publications that are widely distributed.

Statistical capacity in countries has also been enhanced by the technical review and comments provided FAO staff on these reports and by the networking and discussion of common problems and issues during workshops.

last updated:  Sunday, January 15, 2012