FRA 2005 Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q1 How do I report when data are missing or weak?

Q2 How do I undertake calibration/estimation/forecasting/reclassification of data?

Table T1

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

Q2 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?

Q3 National forest inventories sometimes distinguish woodlots less than 0.5 ha. Should these be included when reporting the area of Forest?

Q4 How can sub-national level information on forest area be used to improve/generate national level estimates?

Q5 How does one address the problem of different reference years for sub-national level figures used to generate an aggregated national estimate?

Q6 Since 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?

Q7 What estimate should I use for 1990? Our estimate at the time or an estimate projected back from the latest inventory?

Q8 In the document: Specification of National Reporting Tables for FRA 2005, bamboo and palms are included both under ¿Forest¿ and under ¿Other land¿, so I am not sure where I should include them.

Q9 How should forest fallows/temporarily abandoned land (shifting cultivation areas) be classified?

Q10 Should areas with Christmas trees be included as ¿forest¿?

Q11 When national data on inland water is highly different from the FAO-STAT data, how should this be handled?

Q12 How should ¿young forests¿ be classified?

Q13 I have problems distinguishing between forest and other wooded land. Could you give some additional guidance/examples?

Table T2

Q1 In many countries the ownership of land and the ownership of trees is different. How should this be considered in the reporting table?

Q2 There are some areas where overlapping of land property may occur. How should these be classified?

Q3 There may be ¿land ownership¿ locally recognized but without a land title. How should such areas be classified?

Table T3

Q1 How the designated function should be classified when a government has established an overall policy that all forest will be managed for multiple purposes, but the management plan designates specific functions such as production or conservation?

Q2 How should I estimate the area of forest/other wooded land designated for recreation? (Part of the area of forest designated for the provision of social services). Often, only a small part of the forest (picnic area and paths) is actually used and managed primarily for recreation, whereas the rest of the forest may be designated for other purposes. Do I just estimate the picnic areas, paths etc? If not, how much of the forest should be included?

The same may be true for the area of forest designated for the protection of soil and water (confined to river banks and steep slopes within a larger forested area).


Q3 What about areas where the designation change over time? (Areas planted primarily for timber changing to multipurpose use)

Q4 How should ¿scientific research¿ areas be classified?

Table T4

Q1 How ¿clearly visible indication of human activities¿ should be interpreted in order to distinguish between Primary and Modified natural Forest/OWL?

Q2 For FRA 2000, the industrialized temperate/boreal countries used only three classes: Forests/other wooded land undisturbed by man; semi-natural forests and plantations. Why does FRA 2005 include 5 classes and what is the difference between the old and the new classification system?

Q3 I have problems distinguishing between semi-natural forests and plantations. Could you give some additional guidance/examples?

Tables T5, T6 and T7

Q1 When making the calibration with FAO-STAT total land area, there will be changes in the total land area. These differences will also have implications on estimations of carbon. Therefore the data reported to FRA may be different from the ones sent to the IPCC.

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

Table T8

Q1 How should ¿human induced disturbances¿ such as war, refugee camps, settlements, etc. be classified?

Q2 Should invasive species be considered to be a disturbance?

Q3 How should ¿an impact that significantly affects the health and vitality¿¿ be interpreted?

Q4 Should the area damaged be the area affected within a given year or the area in which the effects of the disturbance is present/visible?

Q5 Some areas are affected both by fire and by diseases or pests. How do we handle this?

Q6 Some areas are affected by more than one pest or more than one disease. How do we handle this?

Q7 What is meant by an impact which ¿significantly¿ affects the health and vitality of the forest/other wooded land?

Q8 Should factors like ¿over exploitation¿, ¿selective logging¿, and ¿degradation¿ be included in this table?

Table T9

Q1 How do we deal with species that are not native but were introduced long time ago (several generations back)? Should these be considered as native?

Q2 Should bamboo, palms and rattan be considered as tree species for the purpose of table T9?

Q3 Why are only tree species included in the assessment of biodiversity. Biodiversity of forests include much more than only tree species.

Q4 How does one determine which of the plants in the IUCN list are ¿tree¿ species according to the FAO definition of a tree? Does it have to be able to grow to 5 m?

Q5 When there are national lists of vulnerable and in danger species that may be different from the IUCN list, should these species be included in the reporting table?

Q6 Some species are reported by IUCN by region, and may not exist in a specific country, what should be done?

Table T10

Q1 Does Table T 10 on growing stock composition refer to natural/native forests only?

Q2 In Table 10, do "species" mean individual species or generic species [genus such as Quercus]?

Q3 If diversity is part of the intent of the measure for Table T 10, should it be numbers of trees or volume?

Q4 Should the ranking of species be by volume, area or number of trees?

Q5 How is the growing stock related to biodiversity?

Q6 Is it possible to provide information by groups of species when the number of species is too big?

Table T12 and T14

Q1 What exchange rate should be used for the estimated value of wood and non-wood forest products for 2005?

Q2 The value may change dramatically simply due to fluctuations in the dollar exchange rate between reporting years. How is that accounted for?

Q3 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?

Q4 It is difficult to quantify subsistence products including fuel wood, is it possible to report estimations?

Q5 Fuel wood value depends on the species. How to quantify?

Table T13

Q1 How does one determine the cut-off point between NWFPs from forests and domesticated/ cultivated NWFPs?

Q2 Should Christmas trees be included as NWFPs?

Q3 Data only exist for those products that are sold in the formal market. Products used for subsistence are not recorded. How to report?

Q4 Are animals which are produced inside the forest considered NWFP?

Q5 If traditional measuring units are used and these are incompatible what can be done?

Table T15

Q1 How should the term Employment be interpreted when we deal with communities where forestry activities are part of every day life and mixed with subsistence activities related to collection of wood and NWFP? Many people work without a salary (either as self-employed of working for the community) and sometimes under traditional but not formalized agreements.

Q2 How to report employment when the labour is carried out by the forest owner himself?

Q3 Forestry sector employment may be included in the ¿agriculture statistics¿. How should it be reported?

Q4 There are some cases where the sawmills are located inside the forest area, or people work inside the forest, and in the sawmills as well, how should it be reported?

Q5 Should employment related to other wooded land be included?

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

General Questions

Q1 How do I report when data are missing or weak?

A1 Refer to page 13 in the Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2005.

Q2 How do I undertake calibration/estimation/forecasting/reclassification of data?

A2 Refer to the explanations and examples provided in the Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2005.

Table T1

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

A1 Agroforestry systems where crops are grown under tree cover are generally classified as Other land, 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, there is an explanatory note under the definition of Other land that says: ¿If a country has areas with meadows and pastures that are difficult to classify whether they should belong to Forest/Other wooded land or to Other land, the country should explain the criteria used and how this classification is done.¿ The general rule is to include the forest pastures in the area of Forest/Other wooded land, unless the grazing is so intensive so it becomes the predominant land use, in case of which the land should be classified as Other land.

Q2 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?

A2 Rubber plantations should be classified as forest (see explanatory note 4 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 are NWFP.

Q3 National forest inventories sometimes distinguish woodlots less than 0.5 ha. Should these be included when reporting the area of Forest??

A3 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 to obtain 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. Countries that can report according to the FRA specification but also have additional information on woodlots of sizes below 0.5 hectare are encouraged to include these figures in the country report where national data are presented, although they will not form part of the figures in the final reporting table for table T1.

Q4 How can sub-national level information on forest area be used to improve/generate national level estimates?

A4 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 FAR 2005 categories should be done prior to adding the various estimates.

Q5 How does one address the problem of different reference years for sub-national level figures used to generate an aggregated national estimate?

A5 First bring the different estimates to a common reference year through inter/extrapolation, then add the sub-national figures.

Q6 Since 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?

A6 Most mangroves are located in the inter-tidal zone i.e. above the daily low tide, but below the high water mark. The boundaries of a national territory may or may not include the inter-tidal zone. In some countries, the inter-tidal zone forms part of the ¿surface water¿ area of the country rather than the ¿total land area¿.

To be consistent, we recommend that all mangroves, which meet the criteria of forest or other wooded land (area, canopy cover, height and dominant land use), should be included in Table 1, regardless of whether they are found in areas not forming part of ¿total land area¿ according to the national definition of land area.

It should be noted that in the UNSD/UNEP Questionnaire 2004 on Environment Statistics sent to all countries except those that are covered by the joint OECD/Eurostat Questionnaire, the definitions of forest and other wooded land (sourced from FAO) include the following note: ¿Please include mangroves and forests on wetlands according to the above height and canopy coverage.¿

Q7 What estimate should I use for 1990? Our estimate at the time or an estimate projected back from the latest inventory?

A7 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.

Q8 In the document: Specification of National Reporting Tables for FRA 2005, bamboo and palms are included both under ¿Forest¿ and under ¿Other land¿, so I am not sure where I should include them.

A8 Provided that the criteria for ¿Forest¿ (area, canopy cover, height and dominant land use), are met, bamboo and palms should be included under ¿Forest¿.

The most critical criterion is often the land use. Some palm plantations, established for other purposes than wood (i.e. oil palm and coconut plantations) should be classified as ¿Other land¿ and ¿Other land with tree cover¿ as these areas are considered to be under agricultural land use.

Because of their increasing significance as a supply of fibre to the wood industries sector, rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations are included as ¿Forest¿.

The explanatory notes for ¿Other land¿ stating: ¿Includes areas with bamboo and palms provided that height and canopy cover criteria are reached¿ is a mistake and should be deleted. An erratum note was issued with this document to this effect.

Q9 How should forest fallows/temporarily abandoned land (shifting cultivation areas) be classified?

A9 Assuming that the individual areas are relatively small and are expected to regenerate as forest, they should be included as ¿forest¿. If the main use of the area is considered to be agriculture, the areas should be classified as ¿other land with tree cover¿.

Q10 Should areas with Christmas trees be included as ¿forest¿?

A10 Yes

Q11 When national data on inland water is highly different from the FAO-STAT data, how should this be handled?

A11 Specific problems will be analysed on a country by country basis, as was done as part of FRA 2000. The differences will be checked with the FAO-STAT Division, and, where needed, a procedure for making changes to the official UN statistics will be provided to the national correspondent.

Q12 How should ¿young forests¿ be classified?

A12 Young forest should be classified as ¿forest¿ if the primary use of the land area is forestry and the trees are capable of reaching 5 m in height.

Q13 I have problems distinguishing between forest and other wooded land. Could you give some additional guidance/examples?

A13 There are two main differences between ¿forest¿ and ¿other wooded land¿. One pertains to the canopy cover, the other to the vegetation cover. Typical examples of other wooded land are those areas where: The canopy cover is between 5 and 10 percent and trees are higher than 5 metres or the canopy cover is more than 10 percent but the vegetation is a combination of shrubs and bushes with some trees present.

Table T2

Q1 In many countries the ownership of land and the ownership of trees is different. How should this be considered in the reporting table??

A1 The FRA 2005 deals with the ownership of land, although we are well aware that it does not give a complete picture of the ownership situation. A thematic study for FRA 2005 on ownership is being planned, and for this study a selected group of countries will be asked to provide complementary information on this issue. If a country wish to report on ownership in more detail, there is an opportunity to do so in the section on thematic reporting in the country report.

Q2 There are some areas where overlapping of land property may occur. How should these be classified?

A2 Such areas should be classified as ¿other ownership¿ and a note included as part of the comments to the table.

Q3 There may be ¿land ownership¿ locally recognized but without a land title. How should such areas be classified?

A3 Where it is impossible to classify such areas as either public or private ownership, they should be included in ¿other ownership¿. The national definitions should specify this fact, as there countries or regions, where ¿no titles¿ means communal land, so please specify particular cases. National definitions and additional clarifications should be given in the section for comments to the table.

Note also that FAO is conducting a specific thematic study on forest ownership.

Table T3

Q1 How the designated function should be classified when a government has established an overall policy that all forest will be managed for multiple purposes, but the management plan designates specific functions such as production or conservation?

A1 Functions can be designated a different level (e.g. national level, management unit level, etc.) and as a general rule, the lowest level of designation should be used. In the example above, functions designated at management unit level overrides the national level designations. However, when functions have not been designated at lower levels, the nation-wide designations should be used.

Q2 How should I estimate the area of forest/other wooded land designated for recreation? (Part of the area of forest designated for the provision of social services). Often, only a small part of the forest (picnic area and paths) is actually used and managed primarily for recreation, whereas the rest of the forest may be designated for other purposes. Do I just estimate the picnic areas, paths etc? If not, how much of the forest should be included?

The same may be true for the area of forest designated for the protection of soil and water (confined to river banks and steep slopes within a larger forested area).


A2 If the recreational use is not the primary function of the area, the whole area can be listed under its primary function and the same area listed under social services in the column on ¿total area with function¿ to show that the area is dedicated to more than one function, but with one of these being significantly more important than the other. The same applies if the recreational use is significantly more important than the other, secondary use(s).

Where recreation is the primary function, but only for part of the 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.

Q3 What about areas where the designation change over time? (Areas planted primarily for timber changing to multipurpose use)

A3 The latest available information should be used for this table regardless of whether the forest was previously designated for another primary function.

Q4 How should ¿scientific research¿ areas be classified?

A4 As ¿social services¿, unless the area has been specifically designated to research of conservation of biodiversity, in which case it should be classified as conservation of biodiversity.

Table T4

Q1 How ¿clearly visible indication of human activities¿ should be interpreted in order to distinguish between Primary and Modified natural Forest/OWL?

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. 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 where no visible signs of this extraction remain.

Q2 For FRA 2000, the industrialized temperate/boreal countries used only three classes: Forests/other wooded land undisturbed by man; semi-natural forests and plantations. Why does FRA 2005 include 5 classes and what is the difference between the old and the new classification system?

A2 For FRA 2000, developing countries were asked to classify natural forests into three classes: Undisturbed natural forest; Natural forest disturbed by man; and Semi-natural forest. Countries were also asked to provide information on the area of forest plantations established for productive and for ¿other¿ purposes. T4 builds on the tables developed for developing countries for FRA 2000.

The use of 3 classes for natural forests (primary = undisturbed; modified natural = natural forests disturbed by man; and semi-natural forests) stems from the wish to be able to sub-classify the degree of modification of the forest structure and composition and the intensity of management, which may have an effect on the potential wood supply.

The distinction is thus made between those natural forests where evidence exist of past/present use of the forest (wood and/or non-wood forest product harvesting), but where no efforts have been undertaken to regenerate the forest (modified natural forests) and those natural forests, which are more intensively managed including efforts to influence the future species composition through either assisted natural regeneration, enrichment planting, seeding or planting of desired, primarily native, species (semi-natural forests).

Typical examples of modified natural forests include:
  • (Tropical) natural forests which have been selectively logged with no post-harvesting activities to facilitate natural regeneration and no enrichment planting. Ranges from selectively logged primary forests to forests which have been degraded due to over-exploitation or illegal logging.
  • Areas regenerating naturally following past agricultural use or extensive damage by fire, floods, hurricanes etc. (often dominated by pioneer species in the early stages of succession)
Typical examples of semi-natural forests include:
  • Most intensively managed forests e.g. in Europe, where emphasis is placed on securing a future stand comprised of desirable species through assisted natural regeneration, seeding or planting.
As regards plantations, productive plantations are often characterized by fewer species and shorter rotations than protective plantations and are mostly clear-felled and re-planted, whereas protective plantations may be kept under continuous forest cover and less intensive management.

Q3 I have problems distinguishing between semi-natural forests and plantations. Could you give some additional guidance/examples?

A3 There are some grey areas, notably as concerns native species which are variably referred to as semi-natural forests or planted forests, but not necessarily as forest plantations. In general, the following can be used as a guide:
  1. If the stands consist of introduced species which have been planted or seeded, then they should be classified as plantations.
  2. If the stands consist of introduced species, which have regenerated naturally ¿ or through assisted natural regeneration, they are classified as semi-natural forests.
  3. If the stands consist of native species which have been established through assisted natural regeneration, they are classified as semi-natural forests.
  4. If the stands consist of native species which have been planted or seeded and which are characterized by few species, straight tree lines and even-aged trees, they should be classified as plantation forest.
  5. If the stands consist of planted/seeded native species, perhaps including some naturally regenerated introduced species, and are characterized by multiple species and age classes and irregular spacing, then they should be classified as semi-natural forest.

Tables T5, T6 and T7

Q1 When making the calibration with FAO-STAT total land area, there will be changes in the total land area. These differences will also have implications on estimations of carbon. Therefore the data reported to FRA may be different from the ones sent to the IPCC.

A1 IPCC and FAO-STAT use the same land area. However, it is important to clarify that the FRA 2005 data on carbon may be different from the one reported to IPCC, because FAO classes and definitions of forest are different. For example, FAO does not request information on managed forests as IPCC does.

Conceptually IPCC is requesting information on forest where significant changes are taking places. It assumes that no changes are taking place in unmanaged forests. Therefore, as an exception, if there are any significant changes in "unmanaged forest" then countries are encouraged to report on that as well. However, generally speaking IPCC limits the reporting requirements on carbon stock to managed forests only.

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

A2 In cases where forest understorey is a relatively small component of the above ground biomass carbon pool, it is acceptable to exclude it, provided this is done in a consistent manner throughout the inventory time series.

Table T8

Q1 How should ¿human induced disturbances¿ such as war, refugee camps, settlements, etc. be classified?

A1 Disturbances are only reported for land classified as Forest or Other wooded land. If such disturbances have caused a change in land use to Other land it should not be included. In case that the land still is considered to be Forest/OWL, then the disturbances can be classified as ¿Other disturbance¿ with a note that specifies the type of disturbance.

Q2 Should invasive species be considered to be a disturbance?

A2 Yes, and they should be classified as Other disturbance with a note that specifies the type of disturbance.

Q3 How should ¿an impact that significantly affects the health and vitality¿¿ be interpreted?

A3 There is no general rule. Each country should specify the criteria used for their classification.

Q4 Should the area damaged be the area affected within a given year or the area in which the effects of the disturbance is present/visible?

A4 The figure reported should, where possible, be the annually affected area, so the area in which damage occurs within a given year. Since there may be considerable variations in the area affected over the years, countries are requested to report the annually affected area as a 5-year average.

Q5 Some areas are affected both by fire and by diseases or pests. How do we handle this?

A5 The four categories in this table are not exclusive. Hence an area of forest/other wooded land that has been affected by different disturbances simultaneously, each of which significantly affects the health and vitality of the forest/other wooded land, should be counted once for each disturbance category.

Q6 Some areas are affected by more than one pest or more than one disease. How do we handle this?

A6 The total area within each category should be the accumulated area without double-counting. If this is not possible with the existing data collection methods, then this should be clearly noted in the comments to the table. Note that only areas where the disturbance results in a significant effect on the health and vitality of the forest/other wooded land should be included in the table.

Q7 What is meant by an impact which ¿significantly¿ affects the health and vitality of the forest/other wooded land?

A7 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 in Table T8. Countries should use existing thresholds/criteria where available and list these in the comments to the table. Note that the disturbance should cover at least an area of 0.5 hectares in order to be included.

Q8 Should factors like ¿over exploitation¿, ¿selective logging¿, and ¿degradation¿ be included in this table?

A8 No, these factors should not be included here. This table aims to highlight only the areas damaged by environmental fluctuation and/or destructive events (fire, insects, diseases, climatic events). Human interventions should not be included in this table.

Table T9

Q1 How do we deal with species that are not native but were introduced long time ago (several generations back)? Should these be considered as native?

A1 Such species are not native, rather naturalized, and should not be included in this table.

Q2 Should bamboo, palms and rattan be considered as tree species for the purpose of table T9?

A2 Bamboo and palms can be considered as tree species, as long as they fulfill the general criteria for trees, which is being able to reach the height of 5 m at maturity in situ. Rattan is not considered to be a tree species.

Q3 Why are only tree species included in the assessment of biodiversity. Biodiversity of forests include much more than only tree species.

A3 This is a first attempt to address the very complex issue of forest biodiversity assessment within the FRA framework. Trees is the groups for which we believe it to be most viable to get global data at the moment. Based on experiences from FRA 2005, this reporting table will be further refined for FRA 2010.

Q4 How does one determine which of the plants in the IUCN list are ¿tree¿ species according to the FAO definition of a tree? Does it have to be able to grow to 5 m?

A4 The definition of a ¿tree¿ for the purposes of FRA 2005 is as follows: ¿A woody perennial with a single main stem, or in the case of coppice with several stems, having a more or less definite crown. Includes: bamboos, palms and other woody plants meeting the above criterion.¿

A tree should under normal conditions be able to reach the height of 5 m at maturity in situ, although this limit must be interpreted with flexibility.

If a country has its own definition or list of tree species, then that can be used, as long as this is explained in the notes to the table.

Q5 When there are national lists of vulnerable and in danger species that may be different from the IUCN list, should these species be included in the reporting table?

A5 No. The number of species in the table should refer to those on the IUCN list. If national lists exist and these differ from the IUCN list, these should be provided in the section on comments to the table. These lists will then be forwarded to IUCN for information and to aid in the revision of the existing lists.

Q6 Some species are reported by IUCN by region, and may not exist in a specific country, what should be done?

A6 These species should be listed in the comments section.

Table T10

Q1 Does Table T 10 on growing stock composition refer to natural/native forests only?

A1 No. All the FRA 2005 tables refer to both natural and planted forests of both native and introduced species as implied by the definition of forests provided for Table 1.

Q2 In Table 10, do "species" mean individual species or generic species [genus such as Quercus]?

A2 Both parameters would provide some useful information. However, for FRA 2005, we're asking for the information by species rather than genera, where this information is available. However, please note that: "Countries may report on genera instead of species if their inventory data do not allow the distinction of individual species within certain species groups." (See Note to Table T10 in Specification of National Reporting Tables for FRA 2005.)

Q3 If diversity is part of the intent of the measure for Table T 10, should it be numbers of trees or volume?

A3 Although part of the reasoning behind Table T 10 is to get an idea of species diversity, we're asking for the information in terms of volume/growing stock rather than the number of trees. The reason being that this would give a better picture of the structure of the forests in individual countries.

Q4 Should the ranking of species be by volume, area or number of trees?

A4 By volume (growing stock).

Q5 How is the growing stock related to biodiversity?

A5 This variable (growing stock composition) is one among many potential variables linked to biological diversity. It aims to provide information on the composition of forests and the trends over time may help highlight important changes in the composition including over-exploitation of certain species.

Q6 Is it possible to provide information by groups of species when the number of species is too big?

A6 Yes. Countries may report on genera (or groups) instead of species, if their inventory data do not allow the distinction of individual species within certain species groups.

Table T12 and T14

Q1 What exchange rate should be used for the estimated value of wood and non-wood forest products for 2005?

A1 For all values in Tables 12 and 14, the exchange rates in Appendix 4 of the Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2005 should be used. For the projections for 2005, the exchange rate for 2003 should be used.

Q2 The value may change dramatically simply due to fluctuations in the dollar exchange rate between reporting years. How is that accounted for?

A2 Yes. By asking for information both on the value and the quantity, it will be possible to explain extreme value fluctuations caused by a fluctuating exchange rate.

Q3 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?

A3 There is no general answer to this question. This should be analysed on a country by country basis. Please send any specific queries you may have to your FRA focal point.

Q4 It is difficult to quantify subsistence products including fuel wood, is it possible to report estimations?

A4 Yes, country correspondents may report an estimated figure, as long as they specify the assumptions and methods that were used.

Q5 Fuel wood value depends on the species. How to quantify?

A5 The value should be estimated by group of species and all figures should be added and reported as the total. Country correspondent may provide clarification in the comments section if needed.

Table T13

Q1 How does one determine the cut-off point between NWFPs from forests and domesticated/ cultivated NWFPs?

A1 For some products and in some countries, it will be difficult to estimate how much of a particular non-wood forest product derives from the forest and how much is cultivated. Where agricultural statistics or other information sources can help estimate the percentage from forests, these should be used and the assumptions documented.

Q2 Should Christmas trees be included as NWFPs?

A2 Yes.

Q3 Data only exist for those products that are sold in the formal market. Products used for subsistence are not recorded. How to report?

A3 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.

Q4 Are animals which are produced inside the forest considered NWFP?

A4 No. Domesticated animals should not be included as NWFP.

Q5 If traditional measuring units are used and these are incompatible what can be done?

A5 Please use the best conversion factor available, and specify it in the comments section. Convert the traditional measurement to the one requested in the table using this conversion factor, and calculate the total.

Table T15

Q1 How should the term Employment be interpreted when we deal with communities where forestry activities are part of every day life and mixed with subsistence activities related to collection of wood and NWFP. Many people work without a salary (either as self-employed of working for the community) and sometimes under traditional but not formalized agreements.

A1 The term Employment refers to formal employment, where the employee receives a remuneration that can be in cash or in kind. The definition specifically excludes ¿work performed by individuals or communities for which no employment contract has been established, independently whether for household, subsistence or commercial purposes¿.

Q2 How to report employment when the labour is carried out by the forest owner himself?

A2 Self-employment is, as a general rule, not considered as employment. Only in those cases where a contracting company has been hired to perform some forestry activities and the owner of this contracting company carries out the work (although he is self-employed within his own contracting company).

Q3 Forestry sector employment may be included in the ¿agriculture statistics¿. How should it be reported?

A3 If at all possible, estimate the percentage of the total employment which is related to the forestry sector. If this is not possible and the reporting data includes information from other sectors, please make a note under the comments section.

Q4 There are some cases where the sawmills are located inside the forest area, or people work inside the forest, and in the sawmills as well, how should it be reported?

A4 If it is possible to calculate/estimate the hours/months allocated to each activity, then please do so. If not, please provide the total and make a note in the comments section.

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 exclude haulage, processing and other non-forest work?

A6 Yes. Only the employment (and the related administration) within the forest should be included.

For further questions please contact: fra@fao.org
last updated:  Monday, September 19, 2005