Focus on COFO24, World Forest Week and the technologies for Forests


Focus on COFO24, World Forest Week and the technologies for Forests

This week is the 6th World Forest Week and it coincides with the 2th session of Food and Agriculture Organization’s Committee on Forestry (COFO)

Undoubtedly the focus of this week is forests! The theme of this week is ‘Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals –from aspiration to action

The major highlight of this week is launch of publication, The State of The World’s Forests: Forest Pathways to Sustainable Development, whose aim is to provide new information to help interlinkages and enhance the understanding of how policies on forests and trees help achieve SDG15 and also seeks to contribute to achieving other goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda.

Evidence is provided on how forests are critical to livelihoods and how healthy and productive forests are essential to sustainable agriculture. Read the report here.

Meanwhile COFO24 will discuss how FAO member countries can help in the achievement and progress towards SDG 15 and related sustainable goals; and, how forests can contribute to food security and nutrition.

Forest and related Information and Communication Technologies

I had the chance to check the programme, however not much is there for ICTs, but on the publications stalls l discovered a number of ICTs for forest implemented by FAO. These are:-

a) Openforis: Free Open-Source solutions for environmental monitoring

Open Foris is a set of free and open-source software tools that facilitates flexible and efficient data collection, analysis and reporting.

It is a partnership initiative from public and private institutions and it is hosted by the Forestry Department at FAO.

The set of tools facilitates flexible and efficient data collection, analysis and reporting. The tools set may be mixed to match the best fit user needs. The tools are: Open Foris Collect, Open Foris Geospatial Toolkit, Open Foris Calc, Collect Earth, SEPAL and Collect Mobile.

b) The FAO-EU FLEGT Programme in Benin on traceability

The second highlighted project was the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FAO-EU FLEGT) Programme Success Story. The story retraces the system implemented in Benin where barcodes and smart phones were used to combat forest crimes.

The ONATRACK system uses smart phones to send real-time information from the forest to a central office and bar codes are used to track the timber.

This ensures that legal timber is recognized and eliminates labour intensive paperwork. This system is now used across Benin to monitor all state plantation harvests. Read the full story

In celebrating week, let us know of similar ICTs application in forests.

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