Global Forest Resources Assessments

FAO workshop boosts pan-European forest resources assessment

©FAO/Madison Ziegler

14 September 2023 – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with technical support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)FOREST EUROPE and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), organized the workshop “Global Forest Resources Assessment and Joint Pan-European Data Collection – National Correspondents workshop for FOREST EUROPE signatory countries” from 12 to 14 September 2023 in Helsinki, Finland.

This workshop was designed to support National Correspondents for the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) and Joint Pan-European Data Collection (JPEDC) with the collection and distribution of data on forest resources and sustainable forest management (SFM) for the 2025 country reporting cycle. As a notable opportunity to review pre-filled data from previous cycles, the workshop trained participants on FRA 2025 and JPEDC reporting requirements for the pan-European region using the new dedicated online platform.

The workshop opened with an initial set of welcoming remarks from Erno Järvinen, Head of the Forests and Bioenergy Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Katja Holmala, Programme Director of LUKE. Anssi Pekkarinen, FAO Senior Forestry Officer, welcomed the participants on behalf of FAO, UNECE and FOREST EUROPE, introduced the objectives of the workshop and provided logistical information. The rest of the day was composed of a technical session on FRA 2025 reporting using the online platform, facilitated by Örjan Jonsson, FAO Forestry Officer.

The following days were marked by a series of technical working sessions on FRA 2025 and pan-European reporting, along with individual meetings between country teams and FRA and JPEDC reviewers to discuss and clarify specific issues related to the national reports and the use of the reporting platform. Participants also engaged in discussion about the establishment of a national work plan for reporting and final validation.

“Gathering forestry representatives from FOREST EUROPE signatory countries for the FRA 2025 and JPEDC workshop was a fantastic opportunity to provide National Correspondents with individualized technical guidance, while participants celebrated the chance to interact with colleagues from other countries for exposure to the unique perspectives in forestry,” said Anssi Pekkarinen.

A field trip was organized on the second day to Nuuksio National Park in collaboration with the Finnish Forest and Park Service, Metsähallitus. Led by Jussi Viitanen, Game and Fisheries Manager of Metsähallitus, the trip provided participants with the opportunity to view the typical Finnish scenery of green forests and serene lakes. The participants were also able to visit the nearby Finnish Nature Centre Haltia to enjoy Finland's natural treasures from across the country.

“This week closes with a sense of comradery and preparedness for the upcoming FRA 2025 and JPEDC reporting cycle among National Correspondents in the pan-European region thanks to this special occasion to exchange knowledge on national forest monitoring systems and related challenges with counterparts from neighboring countries,” said Roman Michalak, UNECE Economic Affairs Officer, on behalf of the organizers in his closing remarks.

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