Information note 9, 15 November 2004

Dear Colleagues,

First and foremost, let me thank you for the 48 complete and 8 partial draft country reports received to date. Much appreciated! The first of these reports will appear (as drafts) on our web site in the near future, once we have concluded our review of them.

This is an excellent start. However, as we will be reporting on more than 220 countries and territories, there is still a long way to go. I would thus like to urge those who have yet to submit their reports to do so as soon as possible, so that we don't receive all the remaining reports at the last minute, since the review process is quite time consuming.

Secondly, I would like to inform you that we have now added a long list of Frequently Asked Questions to our web site (www.fao.org/forestry/site/23847/en), which I hope will help you prepare/finalise your reports. These are based on questions received at the regional workshops and other meetings held earlier this year. Those of you wishing to add some questions please send these to me and we'll include them along with the answers.

The discussion forum (www.fao.org/forestry/site/21994/en) is also a useful tool for clarifying issues and learning how other national correspondents have dealt with specific problems, so I would also encourage the use of this. The background documentation for the FRA 2005 process is available on-line in 5 languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian) and, although we would prefer reports in one of the first three languages, we have made provisions for translations of national reports in Arabic and Russian into English, where needed.

As regards the regional and sub-regional workshops, we have now held six (East Asia, Near East, Anglophone Africa, Francophone Africa, Latin America and Eastern & Southern Europe). Three more are being planned (Asia-Pacific on 23-26 November, Russian speaking countries in early December and the Caribbean in January 2005). I have also attended a meeting with most of the national correspondents from Europe and North America. These meetings and face to face discussions have been extremely valuable for us and it has been very nice to be able to put faces to some of all the names. I hope that they have also enhanced the exchange of ideas and experience between countries and that we shall have further opportunities to meet in the not too distant future.

If you have any questions to any of the above or need any help/technical assistance to complete your country report before the end of the year, please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues here at FAO HQ or in our regional and sub-regional offices.

Best regards

Mette Wilkie

last updated:  Monday, February 6, 2006