FAQ

FRA 2010 -  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS[1]


General questions on reporting methodology

Q1: When it is difficult to reclassify national classes into FRA categories, can I use and report data for the national classes as a proxy for the FRA categories?

A1: It is important that the time series reported to FRA are consistent. If the national categories are reasonably close to the FRA categories countries may use these as long as this is clearly documented in the country report. However, if the national categories differ substantially from the FRA categories, countries should try reclassifying the national data to the FRA categories. When in doubt, please contact your FRA focal point for further guidance.  

Q2: How do I report a small value when the unit specified in the reporting table is large? For example, I want to report a growing stock of 25000 m3 but the unit in the reporting table is million m3?

A2: Always report in the unit specified in the reporting table. Small values (less than 100) should be reported with decimals so the value has at least three significant digits. An example: 25000 m3 should be reported as 0.0250 million m3 and 2500 m3 should be reported as 0.00250 million m3.

Q3: How do I avoid that my figures show up as n.s. (non significant) in the global tables in the FRA report?

A3: In the global tables, the use of n.s. is necessary in order to present a consistent and comparable table with one common unit. However, in the FRA database, the data are stored with the same degree of precision as given in the country report.    

Q4: What should I do when the national datasets from different years use different definitions and classifications?  

A4: In order to build a time series, these datasets must first be brought to a common classification system. Usually the best way is to first reclassify both datasets to FRA classes, before making the estimation and forecasting.

Q5:  How do I report when data are missing or weak?  

A5:  Refer to pages 10-11 in the Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2010.

Q6:  How do I undertake calibration/estimation/forecasting/reclassification of data?

A6:  Refer to the explanations and examples provided in the Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2010, pages 13-18.  

Q7:  Can we correct or change figures for 1990, 2000 and 2005 that were reported to FRA 2005?

A7: If new data have become available since FRA 2005, you may need to also change the historical figures as the new data most likely will affect the trends. Likewise, if you notice that some errors were made in the estimations for FRA 2005, these should be corrected accordingly. Whenever, previously reported figures are changed, the justification should be clearly documented in the comments to the table.

Q8:  Can sub-national level information on forest area be used to improve/generate national level estimates?

A8:  If boundaries of the sub-national units are consistent and definitions compatible, sub-national level information can be aggregated to generate a composite national level estimate through addition of the sub-national figures. Where definitions/classifications differ, harmonization of national classes or reclassification to the FRA 2005 categories should be done prior to adding the various estimates.  

Q9:  How does one address the problem of different reference years for sub-national level figures used to generate an aggregated national estimate?  

A9:  First bring the different estimates to a common reference year through inter/extrapolation, then add the sub-national figures.


Specific questions on the reporting tables

Table T1

Q1:  How should areas under multiple land use (agroforestry, forest grazing, etc.) be classified in a consistent way, when no land use is considered significantly more important than the others?

A1:  Agroforestry systems where crops are grown under tree cover are generally classified as "Other land with tree cover", however some agroforestry systems such as the Taungya system where crops are grown only during the first years of the forest rotation should be classified as "forest". In the case of forest grazing (i.e. grazing on land that fulfil the requirements of canopy cover and tree height), the general rule is to include the forest pastures in the area of Forest, unless the grazing is so intensive that it becomes the predominant land use, in which case the land should be classified as "Other land with tree cover".  

Q2:  Mangroves are found below the tidal level and are not part of the total land area, how should they be accounted for in Table T1?  

A2:  Most mangroves are located in the inter-tidal zone i.e. above the daily low tide, but below the high water mark. The land area according to country definitions may or may not include the inter-tidal zone. For FRA 2010, all mangroves which meet the criteria of "forest" or "other wooded land" should be included in the respective category in Table 1, even when they are found in areas not classified by the country as land area.  When necessary, the area of "other land" should be adjusted in order to ensure that the total land area matches the official figures as maintained by FAO and the UN Statistics Division and a comment about this adjustment included in the comment field to the table.

Q3: What estimate should I use for 1990? Our estimate at the time or an estimate projected back from the latest inventory?  

A3:  The estimate for 1990 should be based on the most accurate information available, not simply a repetition of a previous estimate or the result of an inventory/assessment undertaken in or just prior to 1990. Where a time series is available, the estimate for 1990 can be calculated by simple interpolation. If the latest inventory is considered more accurate than earlier inventories, then this should be taken into account and an attempt made to project the results back in time (extrapolation).   

Q4: How should I report forest fallows?

A4: It depends on how you consider the future land use. Long fallows, which are results of "slash and burn" agriculture and then abandoned without any indication that the area forms part of a rotating agricultural system, should be considered as "forest". On the other hand, short fallows that form part of a rotating agricultural system that after a certain period of recovery will again be subject to "slash and burn" agriculture should be classified as "other land" and, when relevant, as "other land with tree cover" since the main land use is agriculture.

Q5:  Should areas with Christmas trees be included as "forest"?  

A5:  Yes, the definition of "forest" includes Christmas tree plantations (see explanatory note 7 under the definition of Forest).

Q6:  How should "young forests" be classified?  

A6: Young forest should be classified as "forest" if the land use criterion is met and the trees are capable of reaching 5 m in height in situ.  

Q7:  Where should line be drawn between "forest" on one hand and Agricultural tree crops (fruit plantations, rubber plantations, etc.) on the other hand. For example: How to classify a plantation of Pinus pinea with the main objective of harvesting pine nuts? Is it an agricultural tree crop or is it a forest where NWFP are harvested?  

A7:  Rubber plantations should always be classified as "forest" (see explanatory note 7 under the definition of forest). Fruit plantations should be classified as "Other land with tree cover". The general rule is that if the plantation is made up of forest tree species, it should be classified as "forest". The case of the Pinus pinea plantation for pine nut production should therefore be classified as "forest" and the harvested pine nuts should be reported as NWFP.  

Q8:  National forest inventories sometimes distinguish woodlots less than 0.5 ha. Should these be included when reporting the area of Forest?

A8:  The general definition of Forest in FRA is "Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares..." and this should be the base for country reporting whenever it is possible to obtain this figure from the national data sources. However, sometimes the national data sources do not allow obtaining estimates with exactly this size limit. In such cases the countries should report to whatever size limit that is available and clearly document the size limit used. The same threshold should be used consistently throughout the time series.  

Q9: How do I report on areas of bush-like formations (e.g. in the Mediterranean countries) with a height of about 5m?  

A9: If the woody vegetation has more than 10% canopy cover of tree species[2] with a height or expected height of 5 m or more, it should be classified as "forest", otherwise it should be classified as "Other wooded land".  

Q10: How should I proceed when the national figures of inland water area are different from what is presented in Appendix 2 (Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2010)?

A10: The figures on inland water area in Appendix 2 have been calculated as the difference of the official[3] figures on total country area and total land area. When reporting on table T1, the figures on total country area and total land area must match the official figures in the Appendix 2; hence the Inland water area will automatically match. Only in special cases where the country consider the official figures incorrect, and can prove that they have undertaken actions to correct them (See page 20 in the document "Guidelines for Country Reporting to FRA 2010"), may they use the new corrected figures. However, the inland water area must still be the difference between the total country area and total land area.

Q11: How should we report on palm plantations?

A11: According to the definition of "forest", oil palm plantations and other agricultural tree crops are specifically excluded.  Regarding coconut palm plantations, they should generally be classified as "other land with tree cover" as almost all palms when planted are used for agricultural products but in the particular case when managed primarily for wood production and/or protection of soil and water they should be classified as "forest".

Q12: How does the FRA definition of forest correspond with the definition of forest in other international reporting processes?

A12: The definition of forest used for reporting to FRA is generally accepted and used by other reporting processes. However, in the specific case of the UNFCCC, the IPCC guidelines for country reporting on greenhouse gas emissions allow for certain flexibility in the definition of forest, stating that the country can choose the thresholds of the following parameters, allowed interval within parenthesis:

  • minimum area (0.05 - 1.0 hectares)
  • tree crown cover (10 - 30 per cent)
  • tree height (2 - 5 meters)

The thresholds should be selected by the country at the first national communication and must then be kept the same for subsequent national communications   

Q13: How should I classify power lines?  

A13: Power and telephone lines less than 20 m wide and crossing through forest areas should be classified as "forest". In all other cases they should be classified as "other land".  


Table T2

Q1: How should I report on ownership where indigenous land overlaps protected areas?

A1: It is the formal ownership of the forest resources that define how you should report. If the indigenous rights to the forest resources correspond to the definition of ownership in the specifications of table T2, then report as "Indigenous/Tribal ownership". Otherwise, protected areas where indigenous rights are present are likely to be of "public ownership".

Q2: My country has a complex land tenure regime that is difficult to fit into the FRA categories. How should I do?

A2: Contact your FRA focal point for advice, describing the particular land/resource tenure regime of your country.

Q3: Do the four sub-categories of private ownership add up to total private ownership?

A3: Yes.


Table T3

Q1: All forests fulfil many different functions (conservation, protection, etc.). Is it therefore correct to report all forest area as "multiple use"?

A1: Note that there is a difference between a nature-given function and a designated function. All forests may fulfil one or many nature-given functions but this table aims to capture the designated function, which is an active decision on how the forest should be managed and used. Only when there is an active management decision that a forest should be used for several purposes and that none of these are significantly more important than the other, should the area of this forest be considered as designated for multiple use.

Q2:  How should I report when the designated function has changed over time? (e.g. areas planted primarily for timber production and later changed to multiple use)  

A2:  The latest available information on designation should be used for this table regardless of whether the forest was previously designated for another purpose. Consequently, a specific area can be reported under one category in 1990 and under another category in 2010.  

Q3:  How should I classify "scientific research" areas?  

A3:  Scientific research areas should be classified as "social services".

Q4:  How should I estimate the area of "forest" designated for recreation? Often, only a small part of the forest (picnic areas and paths) is actually used and managed primarily for recreation, whereas the rest of the forest may be designated for other functions. Should I just estimate the area of picnic areas, paths, etc? If not, how much of the forest should be included?

A4:  Where recreation is the primary function of specific parts of a larger forest area, one solution would be to multiply the number of "recreational sites" (picnic areas, visitor centres, public parking lots in/next to forests etc) with an estimated average number of hectares per site. Countries using this option should indicate the assumptions in the comments to the table.

Q5: If the national legislation states that all forests should be managed for production, conservation of biodiversity and protection of soil and water, should I then report all forest area as having "multiple use" as primary designated function?

A5: The definition of primary designation function, explanatory note 2, says that "Nation-wide function established in general clauses of national legislation or policies should not be considered as designations". So you must instead look into what functions have been designated at management unit level.

Q6: Can protected areas of IUCN category V and VI be included under "area of forest in protected areas?

A6: IUCN category V and VI are explicitly excluded from this category and should not be accounted for when reporting "area of forest in protected areas".  

Q7: Are all protected areas considered as "conservation of biodiversity"?

A7: No, only when conservation of biodiversity is the main reason for protecting the area.

Q8: The concept of Permanent Forest Estate (PFE) does not fit into the national context (as is the case of many European countries). How should I report?

A8: It is true that the concept of PFE may not fit into national and regional context, as it is a concept that was born in the context of developing countries.  What we want to get here is the area of forest where a legal decision has been taken that it should remain under forest i.e. where the land use may not be changed unless special permission is granted. In many countries the forest legislation establishes in a general clause that forest land may not be converted to other land use without a special permit. In such cases, all forests can be considered as PFE.

Q9: Can I use the area of forest with management plan as an estimation of area of forest under sustainable forest management?

A9: Having a management plan is no guarantee that the forest is sustainably managed, and there are forests without a formal management plan that are under sustainable management.  So while the "forest area with management plan" in some cases can be considered a proxy for "area under sustainable forest management" it is a weak proxy.  As can be seen in the specifications, the criteria used by ITTO for assessment of area under sustainable forest management, includes  areas with forest management plan as one out of five criteria, with the further comment that there should exist "firm information that these plans are being implemented effectively".

Q10: How is the FRA category "forest area with management plan" related to the MCPFE categories?

A10: The FRA category includes both the MCPFE category "forest management plans" and the category "equivalents"

Q11: Can "doing nothing" be considered as sustainable forest management?

A11: Yes, if it is a conscious management decision and actions are taken to protect the area from encroachment or other activities that are unsustainable.

Q12: When reporting on area of forest within protected areas, how should we handle cases when we know that illegal logging takes place within the protected areas?

A12: In this case, you should report on the area of forest that is legally protected, not whether the protection is enforced or not.

Q13: What is the correlation between the MCPFE protected areas (1.1, 1.2, etc) with the IUCN categories used in FRA 2010?

A13: The MCPFE Assessment Guidelines for Protected and Protective Forest and Other Wooded Land in Europe (2002)[4] explains in detail the MCPFE categories and their relationship to the EEA[5] and IUCN categories. A summary is shown in the figure below:

MCPFE CLASSES
EEA*
IUCN**
1: Main Management Objective "Biodiversity" 1.1: "No Active Intervention"
A
I
1.2: "Minimum Intervention"
A
II
1.3: "Conservation Through Active Management"
A
IV
2: Main Management Objective "Protection of Landscapes and Specific Natural Elements"
B
III, V, VI
3: Main Management Objective "Protective Functions"
(B)
n.a.


Table T4

Q1:  How should I interpret "clearly visible indication of human activities" in order to distinguish between "primary forest" and "other naturally regenerated forest"?  

A1:  Almost all forests have been affected one way or another by human activities for commercial or for subsistence purposes by logging and/or collection of non-wood forest products, either recently or in the distant past. The general rule is that if the activities have been of such a low impact that the ecological processes have not been disturbed, the forest should be classified as Primary. This would allow for including activities such as a non-destructive collection of NWFP. Likewise it may include areas where a few trees have been extracted as long as this happened long time ago and no visible signs of this extraction remain. See further the explanatory notes to the definition of Primary forest in the Specifications.

Q2: How should I report areas with naturalized species, i.e. species that were introduced a long time ago and which are now naturalized in the forest?

A2: Areas with naturalized species that are naturally regenerated should be reported as "other naturally regenerated forest" and also under the subcategory"...of which of introduced species".  

Q3: How should I report when it is difficult to distinguish whether a forest is planted or naturally regenerated?

A3: If it is not possible to distinguish whether planted or naturally regenerated, and there is no auxiliary information available that indicates that it was planted, it should be reported as "other naturally regenerated forest".

Q4: Can I use the area of forest in protected areas as a proxy for reporting on area of primary forest?

A4: In many cases, the area of forest in protected areas is the only information available that can be used as a proxy for the area of primary forest. However, this is a weak proxy which should only be used where there are no better alternatives. Caution should be employed when reporting time series, because establishing new protected areas does not mean that the area of primary forest increases.


Table T5

Q5: What is the difference between afforestation and reforestation?

A5: Afforestation is the planting/seeding of trees on areas that previously were either other wooded land or other land. Reforestation on the other hand takes place in areas that already are classified as forest and does not imply any change of land use from a non-forest use to forest.  

Q6: Are the FRA definitions of afforestation and reforestation the same as is used in the IPCC guidelines for greenhouse gas reporting?

A6: No, the terminology on afforestation and reforestation is different. In the IPCC guidelines, both afforestation and reforestation imply a land use change and correspond to the FRA term afforestation, while the IPCC term revegetation corresponds approximately to the FRA term reforestation.  

Q7: Should I report the area of natural regeneration of forests?

A7: No, it is explicitly stated in the specifications to the reporting table that the area of natural regeneration is excluded from the reporting to table T5.  

Q8: How should I report areas where enrichment planting has been carried out?

A8: If it is expected that the planted trees will dominate the future stand, then it should be considered as reforestation; if the intensity is so low that the planted seeded trees only will have a minor share of the future growing stock, it should not be considered as reforestation and consequently not reported on in this table.

Q9: When do I consider that an abandoned land has reverted to forest and therefore should be included under “natural expansion of forest”?

A9: It should fulfil the following:

  • having been abandoned from previous land use for a period of time and be expected to revert to forest. There should not be any indications that it will go back to previous land use. The period of time may be chosen by the country and should be documented in a note in appropriate comment field.  
  • have a regeneration of trees that are expected to comply to the definitions of forest

Table T6

Q1: Is it possible to estimate growing stock from biomass stock using the conversion factors in Appendix 5 (Guidelines for Country Reporting to FRA 2010)?

A1: It is possible, but should be done with much caution; particularly the conversion and expansion factors need a growing stock per hectare as part of the input, so here some assumptions need to be made. Using wood density and biomass expansion factors is more straightforward.

Q2: How to report on bamboo?

A2: Bamboo should be included in the total growing stock, and also reported under the subcategory “...of which broadleaved” species.

Q3: We have estimates of volume available for wood supply. Can this be used for estimating growing stock of commercial species?

A3: Growing stock of commercial species and volume available for wood supply are two different concepts. The first one, which should be reported on in the FRA table T6a, is the total growing stock of all species which are considered commercial, independent of the size of the trees and including trees which grow on areas where logging is restricted. Volume available for wood supply is the volume of commercial species of commercial dimensions which grow on areas where there are no legal, economic or technical restrictions for logging and for many countries this is likely to be substantially less than growing stock of commercial species.  

Q4: Should the volume of trees in protected areas be included in the growing stock of commercial species?

A4: Yes, the volume of all commercial species should be included, independently of where they grow.

Q5: Should fuel wood species be considered as commercial?

A5: Yes, as long as they are sold on the market.  

Q6:  Does Table T6b on growing stock composition refer to natural forests only?  

A6:  No. All the FRA 2010 tables refer to both natural and planted forests of both native and introduced species as implied by the definition of forest given in Table T1.  

Q7:  In table T6b, should the ranking of species be by volume, area or number of trees?  

A7:  By volume (growing stock).  

Q8:  In table T6b, is it possible to provide information by groups of species when the number of species is too large?  

A8:  Yes, if national data do not allow the distinction of individual species within certain species groups, countries may report on genera (or groups) instead of species, and make a note in relevant comment field to the table.


Table T7 and T8

Q1: Do we have to use the provided default conversion factors from IPCC or can we use national factors?  

A1: National/regional factors based on sound investigation are always preferable. Using the IPCC default factors should be seen as the last option when no national or regional factors are available.

Q2:  What about the biomass/carbon stock of shrubs and bushes? Should they be included or excluded?  

A2:  The IPCC guidelines states that when the forest understorey is a relatively small component of the above-ground biomass, it can be excluded provided this is done in a consistent manner throughout the time series. However, in many cases shrubs and bushes are important in terms of biomass and carbon, particularly for areas classified as “other wooded land”, and should therefore be included to the extent possible. Please indicate in the relevant comment field how shrubs and bushes have been handled in your biomass estimates.

Q3: Should I report the same figures on biomass and carbon stocks to FRA as to UNFCCC?

A3: Not necessarily – but ideally the figures reported to UNFCCC should be based on the FRA figures and then adjusted/reclassified, when necessary, to comply with the UNFCCC definitions.


Table T9

Q1: Data/information on the total area affected by fire is not available, only the area of forest affected. How should I fill in the table?

A1: Write n.a. under “total land area affected by fire” and fill in the affected area of forest under the sub-category “...of which on forest”.  

Q2: We have forest areas where the management plan states that if a fire starts, we should let it burn without any suppression measures. Should these be considered wildfires or planned fires?

A2: The definition of planned fire in the specifications clearly states in explanatory note 1 that “unplanned vegetation fires that burn in accordance with management objectives” should be classified and reported as planned fires.   

Q3:  Should illegal “slash-and-burn” fires be classified as “planned fires” or “wildfires”?

A3:  All “slash-and-burn” fires should be considered as planned fires, as long as they burn according to management objectives. However, slash-and-burn fires may go out of control, either by spreading to other areas, by exceeding the intended intensity or both and should in such cases be classified as wildfire

Q4: How should I report when one large fire covers both “forest” and “other wooded land”?

A4: Under number of fires you count it as one for total area affected by fire, and you also count it as one for each of the sub-categories affected by that fire. The numbers in the sub-categories for “number of fires” do not have to add up to the total.


Table T10

Q1: When does damage due to pests or abiotic factors become a disturbance?

A1: The specifications establish that it should at least affect an area of 0.5 hectares. Furthermore, it should significantly and adversely affect the vigor and productivity of the forest and not be a direct result of human activities.

Q2:  What is meant by an “impact that significantly affects the health and vitality of the forest”?  

A2:  It may often be difficult to define whether a disturbance should be considered to have a significant impact on the health, vitality and/or productive capacity and thus be included. Countries should use their own thresholds/criteria where available and list these in the relevant comment field.

Q3:  Should the area damaged be the area affected within a given year or the area in which the effects of the disturbance are present/visible?  

A3:  In Table T10a, the figure reported should be the five-year average of the area in which damage occurs within a given year (annually affected area). If the damaged area is the result of an outbreak, you should report in table T10b the total area affected/damaged during the outbreak.  

Q4:  Should disturbances like “over-exploitation”, “selective logging”, and “degradation” be included in this table?  

A4:  No, disturbances that are results of human activities should not be included in this reporting table. This table aims to highlight the areas damaged by environmental fluctuation and/or destructive events (insects, diseases, climatic events, etc.), not human-induced disturbances.

Q5:  Some areas are affected both by insects and diseases. How do we handle this?  

A5:  The categories in this reporting table are not exclusive. Hence, a forest area that has been affected by different disturbances simultaneously, each of which significantly affects the health and vitality of the forest should be counted once for each relevant disturbance category.

Q6: What do you mean with “woody invasive species”?

A6: Woody species are trees and shrubs, and invasive species are defined as “Species that are non-native to a particular ecosystem and whose introduction and spread cause, or are likely to cause, socio-cultural, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health

Q7:  What about woody invasive species that threaten environmental aspects (ecosystem stability, etc.) but are of significant socio-economic value. Are they considered invasive?

A7: Yes, if they spread and cause environmental harm.


Table T11

Q1:  Why are the data in FAO’s Yearbook of Forest Products different from the data sent by the countries in reply to the joint FAO/ITTO/EUROSTAT questionnaire?  

A1:  If this is the case, please contact your FRA focal point for explanations and advice.  

Q2: It is difficult to quantify subsistence products including fuelwood, is it possible to report estimations?  

A2: Yes, countries may report estimated figures, as long as they specify any assumptions made and methods applied.  

Q3: Fuelwood value depends on the species. How to quantify?  

A3: The value should be estimated by groups of species and all figures should be added and reported as the total. Countries may provide clarification in relevant comments fields when appropriate.

Q4: FRA defines that values should be estimated at road side. If we only have values as stumpage or logs at mill gate, how should we report?

A4: If possible, try to estimate the road side value by adding harvesting and extraction cost to the stumpage value or by subtracting road transport cost from the mill gate value. If such estimate cannot be made, report the value you have and make a note about the value reference point in the appropriate comment field.

Q5: How to assign a value to self-consumption of wood and wood that is given away for free (e.g. local communities are given the right to freely collect fuelwood)?

A5: Use the value on the local market if possible. Otherwise, do not include and make a comment in appropriate comment field.

Q6: Is industrial roundwood only the roundwood that is being used by the industry?

A6: No, the term “industrial” is somewhat misleading, as the specifications clearly define “industrial roundwood removal” as all the roundwood removed for other purposes than energy production. So it includes the roundwood removed for industrial use, but also wood removed for household use, except fuelwood.

Q7: How to handle illegal/informal removals in the reporting?

A7: If there are studies available that give a good estimate of the size of the illegal/informal removals, you may include it in the roundwood removals. However, in most cases such information is not available and you only report on the formal removals. If reported values are believed to considerably underestimate the true removals, you may  provide a comment in appropriate comment field.

Q8: How to handle removals, when some further processing is done in the forest (portable sawmills, charcoal production, etc.).

A8: When further processing is done in the forest and products removed, the removals should be estimated in roundwood equivalents.  In the case of charcoal production, the volume of roundwood used is estimated by using a factor of 6.0 to convert from the weight (mt) of charcoal produced to the solid volume (m3) of roundwood used in production.  

Q9:  Reported values may change dramatically between reporting years due to extreme inflation rates. How is that accounted for?  

A9:  Give the values in national currency as requested, and in the field for comments related to reported trends, indicate that the “strange” trend is the result of high inflation during the reporting period.


Table T12

Q1: Can we include services, such as water, ecotourism, recreation, hunting, carbon, etc., in the NWFP table?  In other contexts we report on non-wood goods and services where these are included.

A1: No, NWFPs are limited to goods only, defined as “tangible and physical objects of biological origin other than wood”.  

Q2: How should we report on production of ornamental plants and crops growing under tree cover?

A2: They should be included if collected in the wild. If planted and managed they should not be included as in such case they are not derived from forest but from an agricultural production system.

Q3: How to we report on honey when part of it comes from forest and part from outside forests?

A3: It is usually difficult to know whether the honey originates from areas classified as Forest. In such cases, countries should, whenever possible, assess and report the share collected in Forest. If countries are unable to derive or estimate the share of honey collected in Forest, they are encouraged report total quantity and provide a comment in appropriate comment field (e.g reported figure refers to all land).

Q4: How to we report on Christmas trees?

A4: In FRA Christmas tree plantations are always considered as forests, consequently Christmas trees should be considered as NWFP (ornamental plants).

Q5:   What about products from multi-purpose trees often growing in agroforestry systems – should they be included as NWFPs?

A5: The specifications and the definition of NWFP clearly states that only products derived from forests should be included. So if the particular agroforestry system is considered to be “forest” (see explanatory note 9 to the definition of forest in T1), the non-wood products derived from multi-purpose trees are NWFPs and should be included in the reporting.  

Q6: We only have a commercial value of processed products. How should we then report on value?

A6: In general, the value should refer to the value of the raw material. However, sometimes raw material value is not available and in such cases you may report on the value of a processed or semi-processed product and clearly note this in the respective comment field.

Q7:  Data only exist for those products that are sold in the formal market. Products used for subsistence are not recorded. How to report?  

A7:  Where this is the case, country correspondents are requested to make a note of this in the comments section. If it is possible to estimate subsistence use of forest products, please provide information on the method and assumptions used.  

Q8:  Are animals which are produced inside the forest considered NWFP?  

A8:  Yes, with the exception of domesticated animals which should not be included as NWFP.  

Q9:  If traditional measuring units are used and these are incompatible with units as requested by FRA, what can be done?  

A9:  Use the best conversion factor available to convert the traditional measurement to the one requested in the table, and specify it in the comments section.  

Q10: Can grazing be considered as fodder and therefore as a NWFP.

A10: No, grazing is a service while fodder is a tangible good. So include fodder collected from the forest, but exclude grazing.

Q11: What to do when my country has no information for 2005 but for later years?

A11: You may use data for a later year as a proxy for 2005, if you consider that it is a good estimate and that there are no indications that products, quantities and values have changed significantly since 2005. In any case, you should make a note on this in appropriate comment field.


Table T13

Q1: Employment is reported under both table T13, T15 and T16. Are these overlapping, and so, how should I report correctly.

A1: The reporting on employment in tables T13, T15 and T16 are mutually exclusive.

Q2: In the definition of “full time equivalent” it says that it is during a “specified reference period”. What does it mean?

A2: The definition comes from ILO, and for the purpose of FRA, the reference period is one year.  

Q3:  How to report employment when the labour is carried out by the forest owner himself?  

A3:  When the forest owner carries out forest work for himself, it is considered as self-employment, which is part of the employment.  

Q4:  There are some cases where sawmills are located inside the forest area, and people may share their time between working in the forest and in the sawmill. How should it be reported?  

A4:  If possible, you should calculate/estimate the time allocated to each activity and report on the part that correspond to the work in the forest. If not possible, please use the total and make a note in the comments field.

Q5:  Should employment related to “other wooded land” be included?

A5:  If it is possible to distinguish between employment related to forests and to other wooded land, please provide both figures in the comments section and the total in Table 15.  

Q6:  Should employment in this table include haulage, processing and other non-forest work?  

A6:  No, only employment directly related to the primary production of goods and to the management of protected areas should be included. For primary production of goods, this includes all the logging activities in the forest, but excludes road transport and further processing.

Q7: In my country, the same person works with both production and management of protected areas – how should I report?

A7: If possible, his time should be split on the two activities, so that if he/she works 50% with each it should count as 0.5 year FTE for each activity. If not possible to do the split, note the time under the activity on which he/she spends most of the time.  

Q8: How to report on employment when a large number of people are involved in participatory forest management

A8: People working with participatory forest management should be entered under self-employment unless formally employed.  Make a note on this in the appropriate comment field.

Q9: Can tourism management be included under employment?

A9: Yes, if it forms an integral part of the management of forested protected areas.

Q10: How to include casual and season labour/employment?

A10: Seasonal labour should be recalculated into FTE during the year. Example: If a company employed 10000 people for tree planting during 1 week in 2005, for the whole year 2005 FTE it would be approx.: 10000people / 52 weeks = 192 employees (FTE). It is important that a note on this is made in the appropriate comment field. If official data (in FTE) from the national statistical office are used, these recalculations have already been made.


Table T14

Q1: My country has a forestry policy but no formal policy statement. How do I report?

A1: FRA requests information on the existence of a formal forest policy statement, so in this case you should report “no” and add a remark or explanation in the comment section.

Q2: How to I report when the forest policy is part of an overarching development policy?

A2: If this development policy includes a forest policy statement which describes the objectives, priorities and means for implementation of the forest policy, you report “yes”, otherwise “no”.

Q3: When reporting on the status of the national forest programme, several of the options seem appropriate. Is it possible to tick more than one option?

A3: No, you should tick only one option, select the one you consider most appropriate.  


Table T15

Q4: In my country, the responsibility for forest policy development and implementation is shared between several ministries. How should I report?

A4: Name all ministries involved and describe in appropriate comment field how the responsibilities are shared.

Q5: In my country, a specialized and autonomous agency is responsible for the forest sector and the head of this agency do not depend on or report to any minister. How should I report on level of subordination?

A5: Report the highest level (1) and describe the situation in appropriate comment field.

Q6: In table 15b, there is a category “total staff”, does it only refer to professional staff?

A6: No, it refers to all staff. The professional staff with university degree or equivalent is then reported in the “of which with university degree...” subcategory. See also question on “university degree” under table T16.


Table T16

Q1: In my country, some students study abroad and then come back as graduated professionals. Also some foreign students study and graduate at our universities. How should I report?

A1: The reporting table should reflect the in-country capacity to educate students in forest-related sciences. Therefore, students graduated abroad should be excluded while foreign students graduated in the country should be included.

Q2:  In my country, the number of years to achieve different academic levels is different than those mentioned in the specifications. Which should I use?

A2: The number of years needed for achieving different university degrees as given in the specification is indicative only. Try to match as close as possible the degrees you have in your country with the three levels in the FRA categories.  

Q3: In my country, forestry technicians are formed as part of the secondary education, while in the FRA specifications it says that it should be post-secondary education. How should I report?

A3: Only the forestry technicians that are qualified through post secondary education have to be reported. Technicians receiving only secondary education or training will not be reported.   

Q4: In my country, some research centers are partially funded with public funds, partially with private. How do I report?

A4: In order to be considered as a publicly funded research center, more than half of the funding should be public.


Table T17

Q1: The FRA specifications stipulate that figures on revenues and expenditures should exclude revenues and expenditures from publicly owned business entities. In my country, the public forestry administration and the business operations are carried out by the same organization. How should I handle this in the reporting?

A1: If it is possible to separate the revenues and expenditures related to the business operations, these should be left out. If that is not possible, report the figures including the business operations and make a note in appropriate comment field.

Q2: Can we report on budget allocations as a proxy for expenditures?

A2: If there is no other way to get a better estimate of expenditures, budget allocations may be used.

Q3: What does “transfer payments” mean?

A3: Transfer payments are direct financial incentives, such as cash grants and subsidies, paid by the government to non-government and private sector institutions, enterprises, communities or individuals for implementing forest-related activities.

Q4:  Do I include revenues from activities which are not considered to fall under forestry in my country but are included in the specifications to this table? (e.g. hunting fees, trophies)

A4: Yes, they should be included.

Q5:  Do I include revenues which are considered to fall under forestry in my country but are not included in the FRA definition of forests (e.g. NWFP from other wooded land)

A5: No, generally they should not be included, but if they cannot easily be separated, you may include them and make a note in appropriate comment field.


[1] This document is regularly updated. Last updated 2008-05-30.
[2] A woody perennial with a single main stem, or in the case of coppice with several stems, having a more or less definite crown.
[3] As maintained by UN Statistics Division and/or FAOSTAT.
[4] http://www.mcpfe.org/system/files/u1/meetings/02/10elm/Assesment_guidelines_protected.pdf
[5] European Environment Agency

last updated:  Thursday, July 10, 2008