Global Forest Survey

FAO is implementing the Global Forest Survey (GFS) project with the support of the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) of Germany. 

Mission and Vision

The mission of the GFS is to establish a global network of systematic sampling plots to understand  forest ecosystems characteristics and health status at regional/biomes level, i.e. independently of country borders. Furthermore, GFS aims to produce freely available and comparable forest data, in cooperation with governments, technical fora and research organizations worldwide.

The vision of the GFS is to create a global web based platform where forest data are available and freely shared. This platform will help stakeholders, policy makers and scientific communities to address the upcoming challenges in forest resources management and related climate change mitigation.



Key project elements

  • Enabling conditions: The project will provide enabling conditions for GFS through capacity building, knowledge generation on emission factors and improved reporting under the UNFCCC.  
  • Capacity building materials: in collaboration with implementing partners, FAO staff will prepare materials to support all the capacity building activities within the project.
  • Measurement protocols: Measurement protocols to support multi-purpose analysis of forest properties will be established. These will include ‘basic protocols’ that will be used as a “lowest common denominator” among all the measurements sites, plus other specific protocols to enhance the quality and the quantity of data collection on specific subjects.