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Appendix 2: Planning and information needs assessment for forest fires component


The mission of FAO’s global forest resources assessment programme is to provide the world community reliable information to describe and understand the situation of the world’s forests and related resources and how they change over time. The assessments are carried out jointly by FAO, Rome, and UN-ECE/FAO, Geneva, in cooperation with member countries and partners. FAO is directly responsible for information for developing countries, as well as a global synthesis and UN-ECE/FAO Geneva is responsible for the industrialized countries.

To carry out this mission, FAO’s Forest Resources Assessment Programme:

1. Supports capacity building by providing technical assistance to developing countries in the conduct of national forestry assessments;

2. Co-ordinates forest resources assessments for both developing and industrialised countries; and

3. Produces global forest resources assessment databases and periodic reports.

The immediate objectives for the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 will be to:

1. Carry out an assessment of forest resources (including information on the goods and services provided by forests) on a global basis referenced to the year 2000;

2. Estimate the changes in forests that have taken place during the decade 1990-2000;

3. Compare to the changes during the decade 1980-1990;

4. Provide information that helps understand the reasons for and the effects of change, including the social, economic, and environmental implications;

5. Disseminate results, data bases, and methodologies to interested national and international institutions, world-wide.

Forest Fire Component for FRA 2000

The Expert Consultation on Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 held in Kotka Finland during June of 1996 recommended that FAO should provide annual statistics/estimates for the FRA 2000 for each country on the number of forest fires and the area burned over the period 1990 – 2000.


Within the context of the reporting needs for the FRA 2000 concerning developing countries, the consultant will:

1) review FAO’s information needs for FRA 2000 concerning forest fires

2) conduct a summary review of potential information sources to meet the reporting needs, noting:

3) recommend appropriate fire terminology ( in agreement with other agencies) to distinguish between types of fires i.e. vegetation; forest fires; prescribed burning; wildland fires; wildfires etc for classification purposes

4) indicate gaps in the existing information base and make recommendations for gap filling as required

5) propose a mechanism to involve developing countries in the generation/validation of statistics, noting that FAO FRA methods generally require at a minimum a brief to each country for them to approve or resubmit statistics they themselves have gathered and at best train and utilise developing country personnel in the generation of the statistics

6) evaluate the option of providing statistics at regional levels for the developing world if data gathering mechanisms are insufficient at the national levels (including coarse resolution remote sensing – and linkages with the EU JRC programme)

7) elaborate a draft layout for presentation of the statistics for FRA 2000, include recommendations for complementary text to support or frame the statistics

8) recommend a framework for collecting fire data including the causes of fire at the national level

9) recommend contingency plans for FRA 2000 reporting in the event that existing information sources are insufficient for proposed reporting elements

10) develop a budget and workplan for the development of the information set with FAO officers

11) summarize findings in a report

Duration: 3 months

Location: 16 days in Rome and remainder in home station

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