The long-term goals of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment are the following:
i) assist member countries and the world community in reviewing policies, promoting multilateral cooperation and taking appropriate action for the conservation, development and management of global forest resources;
ii) support studies of a regional and international nature requiring country forest resource information in a common and harmonized format;
The immediate objectives of the Global Forest Assessment 1990 were to:
i) carry out an assessment of forest resources on a global basis for the reference year 1990, and estimate the changes that have taken place during the decade 1980-1990;
ii) study the environmental and non-wood goods and services provided by forests in the temperate zones;
iii)study the environmental implications of deforestation and forest degradation and the process of change in the tropics; and
iv)disseminate the database and the methodologies of assessment to the concerned national and international institutions.
Immediate objective (i) concerns the generation of a data base; objectives (ii) and (iii) involve the building of knowledge base on the environmental and other beneficial functions of forests; and objective (iv) concerns the building of national and international institutional bases for both the present and future forest resources assessments.