REDD+ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

FAO to hold a series of technical virtual events on forest monitoring tools in West Africa

The sessions will be held as part of the project “Global Transformation of Forests for People and Climate: a focus on West Africa” to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Forest convergence Plan.


Recognizing the role of forests in combatting climate change, many African countries are implementing strategies to halt deforestation and manage their forest resources sustainably. For these countries, National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) are essential, as they provide information necessary for application in creating national forest policies, planning and sustainable development. Forest monitoring systems enable measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) functions and aim to produce high-quality, reliable data on forests, including forest-carbon estimates, that are critical to the battle against climate change caused in part by deforestation and degradation of forests.

To support countries in Africa in implementing forest monitoring activities, FAO is holding a series of online technical virtual events that will take place between 15 October to 30 November 2020 under the framework of the joint project “Global Transformation of Forests for People and Climate: a focus on West Africa” funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in support of the implementation of the ECOWAS Forest Convergence plan.

The sessions aim to support countries to overcome data gaps and improve the quality and transparency of forest-related data and information by developing the capacities of technical staff to conduct forest (carbon) inventories and analyze geospatial satellite imagery. Participants will be trained to use FAO open source geospatial tools such as Open Foris and SEPAL to harmonize countries’ land use /land cover classification systems, undertake visual image interpretation, and produce map mosaics, change detection and accuracy assessments.

The training sessions are open to everyone interested to learn about national forest inventory techniques and methodologies and about the use of FAO’s latest geospatial open source tools for land use land cover change analysis.

Women are strongly encouraged to participate.


Platform: Zoom Languages: English (See here for the parallel event in French)

Dates: 15 October – 30 November


Training Requirements

Participants in the training must have stable internet access. Slots 2 to 5 are NFI sessions and are open to forestry services staff and other stakeholders involved in forest biomass assessment.

All participants must complete a quick questionnaire at Slots 6 to 9 are geospatial sessions and participants must complete the quick questionnaire at


You can find all the materials (presentations and tutorials) from the sessions in this shared folder 


Detailed timeline:


Session title and description


15 October 

Start Time :

10.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 45 min   



Session 1: Introduction of Global Transformation Project & Focus Area 1 and Launch of CBIT E-Learning

Background/Brief Presentation of “Global Transformation of Forests for People & Climate”                   

Presentation of Focus Area 1 “Knowledge of the state of forest status and dynamics “.

Presentation of Regional Web portal Architecture (Design) and metadata.                                                          

Brief presentation of CBIT-Forest, and National Forest Monitoring (NFM) and links to Focus Area 1 Discussion and suggestions on Data sharing mechanism

During this session, FAO will launch the French version of its new certified eLearning course “Forests and transparency under the Paris Agreement”, a useful tool everyone who wishes to understand the importance of forest-related data collection, analysis and dissemination, particularly in regards to the Enhanced Transparency Framework requirements under the Paris Agreement.

Concept note

Panellist: Rocío Cóndor-Golec 


20 October

Start Time :

09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Session 2: Analysis of status of existing/historical forest inventory data in West Africa

Presentations on the preliminary status of existing/historical forest inventory data in the sub-region, based on desktop literature reviews

Presentation will include: Sampling Designs used; Variables/Parameters measured or estimated, Results and Discussions on Data availability and Accessibility

Panellist: Rebecca Tavani, Forestry Officer, FAO


26-27 October

Start Time :

09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Sessions 3 & 4:   Overview of Forest Carbon Assessment techniques for various carbon pools

Presentations on the techniques for forest biomass estimation for the various carbon pools: Above Ground Biomass of Standing live and Dead Trees, Down/lying deadwood, stumps, litter, shrubs and soil organic matter (SOM).

Brief (virtual) demonstrations of the use of some laser equipment (TruPulse 200B, Criterion RD1000, Digital Clinometer, increment borer etc.)

Register here for Session 3


Register here for Session 4 

3 November

Start Time :

09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Session 5: Allometric Equations and NFI Data Analysis

Presentation & discussions of draft a Regional Allometric Equation for West Africa.

Presentation of statistical data analysis methods for estimating forest biomass and carbon stocks for different carbon pools.

Register here

9 November

Start Time :

09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Session 6: The use of FAO Land Cover Classification System (LCCS/LCML)

Introduction to LCML and interoperability (30’)

Hands-on exercise with LCCS-v3 (1h)

Discussion around existing national data (30’)


Register here

16 November

Start Time :

09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Session 7: Introduction to Open Foris Collect Earth & Planet Data

Sampling based area estimation through enhanced visual interpretation (30’)

Setting up useful interpretation keys (30’)

Hands-on exercise and Demo with CE (1h)

Panellist: Alfonso Sanchez, NDC Land Use Reporting Specialist, FAO

Register here

26  November

Start Time :

 09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Session 8: Introduction to SEPAL (1)

Introduction to cloud-computing for EO (30’)

Formats and data in SEPAL (30’)

Optical and Radar mosaic creation (1h)

Register here

27  November

Start Time :

09.00 GMT (Dakar)

Duration: 2 hours   


Session 9: Introduction to SEPAL (2)

Land cover classification (1h)

Change detection with dense time series (1h)

Register here


John Fonweban has a forestry career spanning 30 years. He joined FAO in 2012 as Forestry Officer and has been providing technical guidance on REDD+ MRV/NFMS in the African region, with particular focus in West Africa. He personally led the implementation of the NFMS and FREL components of the Nigeria’s UNREDD Programme; and has designed and implemented (i) a national forest (carbon) inventory in Nigeria; (ii) a regional needs assessment on NFMS in West Africa; (iii) a regional Targeted Support (TS) and (iv) a regional TCP on capacity strengthening on forest carbon inventories in West Africa. Prior to joining FAO, he had served as Senior Lecturer of Forest Inventory & Biometrics, and Research Coordinator in Cameroon, as lecturer in Forest Resources Management in Scotland and as a Timber Properties Modeller for the Forest Research Agency of the UK Forestry Commission. John holds a BSc in Forestry, an MSc in Forestry and a PhD in Forest Science.

Rémi d’Annunzio is FAO Forestry Officer, coordinating the REDD+ and National Forest Monitoring work for the Africa region. He joined FAO in 2009 where he provides technical support to the Forestry capacity building program, to improve forest and land use data analyses and reporting, and to enhance understanding and action needed to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. He is actively supporting the development of free and open-source solutions for earth observation and monitoring, contributing to modules within the OpenForis initiative and the SEPAL platform. Remi is a civil engineer with a major in Mathematical Morphology and holds an MSc and a PhD in Forest Sciences.

Mohamadou, Aw is Program officer, based in Dakar at the sub regional office for West Africa.  He coordinates, at the sub regional level, the implementation of the West Africa forest project funded by the Swedish government called: Global transformation of Forest for People and Climate _ Focus on West Africa¨.  The project aims to strengthen decision-making on forests and land management, and to strengthen capacity at sub-regional level through ECOWAS and other sub-regional partners to implement elements of the ECOWAS convergence plan. Mr. Aw holds a master’s degree in Forestry from Northern Arizona University/USA and a forestry bachelor’s degree from a forestry engineering school in Morocco (ENFI-Salé)



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