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GFOI Plenary 2019: setting the pace for enhanced forest monitoring systems

CC Bart Wursten via Flickr
08/04/2019

8 April 2019, Maputo – More than a hundred representatives from ministries, agencies, international organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academia and the private sector are gathering in Mozambique this week for a two day summit on forest monitoring around the world.

The event is organized by the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Office hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Government of Mozambique and a number of other high-level stakeholders.

The GFOI is an informal partnership which helps to deliver international support to developing countries to monitor their forests and assess related greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) – all with the objective of promoting sustainable forest management, reducing the emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and stemming the impacts of climate change.

"The world climate is facing unprecedented changes, leading to natural disasters and devastation. The emergency scenario that Mozambique is currently facing, following Cyclone Idai is particularly worrying for the lives and livelihoods of the local population," said FAO's Representative in Mozambique, Olman Serrano.

"While immediate assistance should be made available to the most vulnerable in the aftermath of such adverse events, long-term responses call for a global reduction in GHG emissions, including from deforestation and forest degradation, and to better manage and conserve the world's forests, which can mitigate the effects of climate change," he added.

Forests for sustainable livelihoods
Throughout the week, experts will share success stories and lessons learned in the field of monitoring of forests and assessing the associated GHGs. Demonstrations of selected cutting-edge tools and methodologies from numerous actors will be held in exhibition booths.

The annual GFOI plenary assembles the international community engaged in forest monitoring, in particular in developing countries, in order to foster strategic collaboration, information exchanges and networking.

Key topics for this year's discussions include institutional arrangements, linkages between National Forest Monitoring Systems and other systems tracking different land uses, as well as country need assessments.

Countries are working to develop self-sustained forest monitoring and greenhouse gas reporting procedures in order to inform national policy development, improve international reporting, and enhance confidence in performance-based emissions reduction payments under REDD+.

Forests and trees make vital contributions to both people and the planet, bolstering livelihoods, providing clean air and water, conserving biodiversity and responding to climate change. Experts in Maputo this week will join forces to take action to help improve the management of forests and the livelihoods and lives of people around the world.

What is GFOI?

GFOI is a Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Flagship Initiative that coordinates the delivery of international assistance to developing countries for National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) and associated emissions measurement, reporting and verification (MRV). 

The GFOI initiative is currently led by representatives from the Governments of Australia, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States; the U.S.'s SilvaCarbon Program, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the European Space Agency (ESA), FAO and the World Bank. Its activities rely on inputs from many other organizations and individuals, including experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat.

The initiative is conceived to support countries in meeting their international commitments and to push for transparency in tracking progress towards the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

What is GEO?

The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a partnership of more than 100 national governments and in excess of 100 Participating Organizations that envisions a future where decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations.

What is REDD+?

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus the sustainable management of forests, and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), is an essential part of the global efforts to mitigate climate change. FAO supports developing countries in their REDD+ processes and in turning their political commitments, as represented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, into action on the ground.