GLOBAL FOREST RESOURCES ASSESSMENT 2005
Regional review of national reports for
English speaking Caribbean countries

24-28 January 2005, Kingston (Jamaica)

Background

The Global Forest Resources Assessment Update 2005 was specially mandated by the Committee on Forestry (COFO) during its meeting in 2003, where member countries endorsed recommendations from an Expert Consultation held in the Kotka, Finland in 2002 (Kotka IV). Accordingly, all countries have been requested to provide national reports to FAO during 2004. For this purpose, FAO organised a training session for national correspondents on Assessing and Monitoring Forest Land Use and Changes at FAO Headquarters in Rome (Italy), 17-21 November 2003. This was followed by a series of regional workshops worldwide. The workshop in Kingston (Jamaica), primarily aimed at English-speaking Caribbean countries, is part the sequence of different regional workshops that have taken place in other regions (Anglophone and Francophone Africa, Asia and South Pacific, Latin American and Spanish speaking Caribbean countries, Russian speaking countries).

Workshop arrangements

Fifteen NCs from 21 countries, some of them representing more than one country, participated in the workshop, which was hosted by the Forestry Department of Jamaica.

Agenda (.pdf format) 
Workshop objectives

The following were the objectives of the workshop and they were all achieved:
  • Review of the fifteen reporting tables for FRA 2005;
  • Address problems that countries were experiencing with respect to compiling country reports according to the FRA 2005 guidelines for reporting;
  • Identify information gaps;
  • Draft a time table for the final submission of the country reports; and
  • Formulate conclusions and recommendations for future FRA activities

Workshop conclusions

  • Country correspondents recognize the importance of FRA 2005 reporting process, specially the importance of being able to track back the information in order to use it in future FRA reports and other international reporting commitments in the Caribbean countries.
  • The country correspondent from San Vincent pointed out that FRA 2005 is a crosswalk up to FRA 2010: reports should be developed in a professional way, the process should strengthen the national existing reporting capacities and the reporting mechanism of the Forestry Department.
  • Forestry information should be linked to other sectors, including social information.
  • Harmonization of data is requested so it can be used by other national agencies for planning and management decision in the forestry sector and other related sectors.
  • The CARICON integration process in the region is requesting natural resources information for appropriate management.
  • FRA 2005 is giving the opportunity to have a state of the art of existing and missing information.
  • In some countries institutional breakdown have meant no activity and loss of data in a number of countries. FRA process can be a mechanism to sort and gather national information in a systematic way.
  • Still a problem to be solved is the official nomination of country correspondents, and the guarantee that the same person will attend FRA meetings and trainings.
  • There was an expression of interest for linking the efforts of between the Caribbean region and the South Pacific region, as their needs may be similar one may benefit from the other experience.
  • There are still some questions to be answered: how to assess biodiversity? how to produce a vegetation map when there are more thousands of tree species, most of them non identified?
  • Information gap still remains as problem in the Caribbean Region. Vegetation maps, and national forest assessment were identified as a possible alternative to reduce this gap. Forestry inventories for management purposes is the ideal scenario but restricted to fund availability.

FAO Contact person

Ms Hivy Ortiz Chour, the FRA Secretariat's Focal Point for the Caribbean region, was responsible for presentations and provided technical assistance to the countries.

last updated:  Tuesday, March 22, 2005