Forest monitoring and assessment
Voluntary guidelines on national forest monitoring
Forest monitoring has become a key issue in national and international development policy. Information provided by forest monitoring activities goes beyond forest boundaries and can be used as an indicator for several environmental and social parameters. Yet, in many countries, the capacity to collect, analyze and utilize forest resources data is lacking or inadequate.
The need for a set of guidelines on forest monitoring was ratified during COFO 2012 as the expression of member countries to receive support in strengthening national forest information systems for the collection of timely, comparable and consistent forest related information. In addition, the Cancún Agreements [COP16, 2010] explicitly recommend that national forest monitoring systems be established to monitor and report the five activities of REDD+.
This is in line with the mandate of FAO and one of its core functions: to collect, analyze and disseminate information on forestry and other land uses. Better information leads to better decisions, which lead to better actions!
The guidelines aim to present a general framework to compile good practice principles, methodologies and tools for planning and implementing a multi-purpose national forest inventory and to establish long-term forest monitoring systems grounded in sound practice.
The guidelines are designed as a technical reference or framework that can be used taking into consideration the needs and capacities of member countries. They present the rationale for action, identify roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders and describe the engagement needed for implementing a national forest monitoring process.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
The process of defining the Voluntary guidelines on national forest monitoring has just started. During the next months consultations and technical
Draft Version for discussion of sections I and II