Information note 10, 19 May 2005

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a while since my last information note. As you can probably imagine, we have been busy soliciting and reviewing the draft country reports. Please find attached two documents as follows:
  1. A short summary of recent activities, the current status and proposed next steps.
  2. An invitation to the presentation on FRA 2005 to be held as a side event to UNFF later this week. If you¿re in New York, I would urge you to attend this presentation.
Thanks to your kind collaboration in preparing national reports to, we have now received a completed draft from almost all countries.

The review and finalisation of the reports is taking slightly longer than expected, but I am confident that the result will be the most comprehensive and reliable global assessment of forest resources to date. And we still aim to publish the main report before the end of the year.

If you have any questions or comments to the information attached, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards

Mette Løyche Wilkie


./..


FRA 2005


Short summary of recent activities, the current status and proposed next steps


Recent activities

In addition to the three training workshops held in late 2003 and early 2004, we held eight regional and sub-regional workshops in 2004 and early 2005 to review draft country reports with a total of 133 national correspondents participating in these. These workshops have been extremely valuable for us and we hope to be able to continue to support similar exchanges of ideas and experience between countries in the future.

A meeting of the FRA Advisory Group was held in January this year to review progress and provide suggestions for the next steps - including post FRA 2005 activities. Maintaining and enhancing the existing network of national correspondents was one of the clear recommendations by this Group, which also agreed that an evaluation of the FRA 2005 process and results should be undertaken in 2006. The minutes of this meeting will soon be available on our web site.

An Expert Meeting on harmonizing forest-related definitions was also held at FAO in January this year. This was the third meeting in this process and most of the terms discussed are directly relevant to the FRA process. More information on the process and the report of the third meeting can be found at: www.fao.org/forestry/site/25212/en.

Current status

By the end of the deadline (31 December 2004) we had received 97 reports. Since we will be reporting on 228 countries and territories, this was less than 50 percent and had us a bit worried. However, I am very pleased to inform you that, thanks to all your efforts, we have now 205 draft reports in hand - 36 of these prepared by FAO for countries which have not nominated a national correspondent and 169 submitted by national correspondents. That's a response rate of 74% in terms of number of countries and almost 100% in terms of the number of national correspondents. And we're still expecting a few more to come.

The review and finalisation of the reports is taking longer than expected, but I am confident that the result will be the most comprehensive and reliable global assessment of forest resources to date.

The seven thematic studies (on planted forests, mangroves, bamboo, forest fires, insects and diseases, forest ownership and forests and water) are all underway and some of you have already provided information or helped us identify suitable contact persons, for which we are most grateful.

Next steps

The review of draft reports is ongoing and will continue for another month or so. Once all reports have been finalised, we will send these out for official validation together with the information on the summary tables to be included in the main report.

A presentation focusing on the FRA 2005 process will be held during UNFF in May 2005 (see separate attachment) and at the IUFRO World Congress in August 2005.

The main results of FRA 2005 are scheduled for release towards the end of 2005 and the thematic studies will be published in late 2005 or early 2006. An evaluation of the FRA 2005 process will commence in early 2006 along with the consultation process for FRA 2010 aimed at reaching an early agreement on the process for and the main variables to be included in FRA 2010.

last updated:  Monday, February 6, 2006