Information note 1, 17 April 2003

Dear colleagues,

Last March, the Committee on Forestry (COFO) was held in FAO Headquarters. COFO stressed the significance of the mandate role of FAO on global forestry information and attached high priority to the implementation of forest assessments, emphasizing the importance of strengthening national capacities to collect and analyze information about forests, and of improving compatibility between national, regional and international assessments. COFO recommended producing a mid-term refined and up-dated Global Forest Resources Assessment in 2005 (FRA 2005).

FRA 2005 will be based on the active participation and collaboration of the countries and national institutions for the collection, organization, and distribution of forest resources information. We requested your country to nominate a national correspondent who will be the official liaison between Governments and the FRA Secretariat. By means of this note, we should like to congratulate you on your official nomination as National Correspondent for your country to the next FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment and at the same time should like to welcome you by providing you with some details about the organization and how we see your role in this process.

The FRA 2005 will be developed around common themes of Criteria & Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. This is expected to increase the usefulness of the results and reduce the overall reporting burden on countries. We are now in the process of identifying and defining the global variables, developing the questionnaires and organizing the guidelines to compile information based on these criteria.

FRA aims at encouraging an active role and participation from country correspondents in all of the FRA process development components. In view of this, FRA holds a specific web-site for the national correspondents www.fao.org/forestry/fra-nc . This site is meant to post relevant information and receive your feedback at the same time. We should like to use it as an interaction tool between the FRA Secretariat and all country correspondents as well as a go-between device among country correspondents themselves.

We believe that interacting among national correspondents and the FRA Secretariat is essential in order to achieve the FRA-2005 goals. It is because of these reasons, that FRA is organizing a training/meeting in FAO Rome, for all national correspondents, in November 2003. During this training/meeting session, purposes, methods, process and details of the FRA 2005 will be presented and discussed. More specifically, this training/meeting session will include a component on planning of regional initiatives within the framework of the FRA 2005. The meeting will launch the process of FRA 2005 and will provide the opportunity to national correspondent to meet and share their experiences and views on forest assessments. It will also give the opportunity to develop working relationships with other forestry officers in FAO and their activities.

More information about the training will be posted in the web-site and will be sent to you through e-mails. We strongly encourage you to get back to us for any other information. You may contact me directly or send your queries to fra@fao.org. We look forward to hearing from you.


Yours sincerely,

Peter Holmgren
Chief
Forest Resources Development Service
Forest Resources Division
peter.holmgren@fao.org

last updated:  Monday, February 6, 2006