Global Forest Resources Assessments

Advancing countries’ capacities to report on forest resources in Africa


Hwange, 28/04/2023 – Representatives from sixteen countries and forestry experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations met this week in Hwange, Zimbabwe, for the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2025 sub-regional workshop for Anglophone Africa.

Improved forest information is essential to tackle major interconnected challenges such as a changing climate, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. FAO launched a global capacity building exercise ahead of the publication of the new FRA 2025 report, to collect the best possible data and information, in terms of completeness, consistency and transparency.

The four-day workshop was the fourth workshop held in the context of FRA 2025. FAO experts trained over eighteen national correspondents and alternate national correspondents on definitions, methodologies and tools in order to meet their reporting requirements for FRA 2025 and ensure that national data are as complete, consistent, and transparent as possible.

FAO’s technical assistance focused in particular on the online platform used to compile the country reports, and guidance on how to apply FRA 2025 terms, definitions, and guidelines. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss outstanding issues they faced while compiling the country reports, share their experiences on forest-related reporting, and network with other FRA national correspondents.

Capacity development for effective forest resource reporting in Africa

This workshop was the first to improve the quality and reliability of FRA 2025 data in the African continent. A second workshop is planned for the last week of September in Mauritius for finalization of the country reports and another workshop for the Africa region will be held in Senegal in June to assist in the preparation and review of reports for francophone African countries.

Forest resources in Africa, especially rainforests in the tropical biome, are under high pressure. “According to the FRA 2020 report, Africa had the highest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 million ha, followed by South America, at 2.6 million ha”, said Rebecca Tavani, Forestry Officer at FAO. 

The continuation of a high rate of deforestation largely reflects the combined impacts of high population growth and the need to sustain livelihoods with small-scale agriculture. Sustainable forest management in Africa is essential to both support the livelihood of the local population and preserve precious biodiversity hotspots and ecosystem services. 

FAO has been conducting global forest resources assessments since 1948 and its content has evolved over time to adapt to changing needs of society. FRA data are widely used to support evidence-based recommendations by governments, civil society, and the private sector, and to inform international conventions and agendas, including Sustainable Development Goal 15, Life on Land. To learn more about the FRA process watch this video