Information note 11, 19 August 2005

Dear Colleagues,

Firstly, I would like to express my most sincere thanks to all of you and your colleagues for the substantial time and efforts you have put into preparing the country reports for FRA 2005. It has been hard work, but also a very rewarding experience for the FRA Group here at HQ and in the regional and sub-regional offices. We hope that the process has also stimulated discussions and analysis in your country and that the country report and the FRA 2005 Main Report will increase the awareness of the status and trends in forest resources, their condition, uses and benefits.

All 228 reports are now finalised and letters have been sent out to the Head of Forestry of each country for the official validation of the reports and the tables we aim to include in the FRA 2005 Main Report. I attach a copy of the letter sent and a list of the recipients for your information. Please note that the deadline for comments is set at one month after the date on the individual letter. Most letters were sent towards the end of July with the last ones sent on 12 August.

To speed up the validation process, we have posted the report and the tables on a secure internet site and each person is given a username and password to access the information on his/her country and dependent territories.

Unfortunately, some countries have encountered problems accessing the web-site. This usually occurs when the firewall and/or proxy server have restrictions that do not allow for access to our secure web-site. Should you or your colleagues encounter this problem, please contact me immediately and we will send you a copy of the final draft report and extract the tables with all the tables and figures that we intend to publish in the FRA 2005 main report. These figures are either taken directly from the country report or calculated from the data provided in the country report.

If you should discover any mistakes in the final draft report or the tables, I would be most grateful if you could please coordinate your reply with the person sending the official response to the validation letter, so that we receive notification of all the changes needed in one single letter.

At the same time as the validation process, we are analyzing the global tables, which contain a wealth of information. To do so, we have enlisted the help of 12 subject specialists in house and their immediate colleagues. Although I believe we conducted a very thorough review of all the draft reports before they were finalized, this analysis may result in the discovery of one or two strange trends or percentages e.g. due to typographical errors or unit mistakes.

Where the analysis of the global tables by FAO results in a need to make a correction to the report, we will, of course, contact you beforehand. However, based on the results of the first two weeks, such cases will be rare. If we do not receive a response to the validation letter and/or you do not hear from us before 15 September, there will be no further changes to the report.

Next steps:

As noted in Information Note 10, 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 and 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. We hope that you will share your experience of the FRA 2005 process and ideas for FRA 2010 with us as part of this process. More details will follow nearer the time.

Please don¿t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Best regards.

Mette Wilkie
last updated:  Monday, February 6, 2006