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Overview Brazil

Brazil, being the second most forested country in the world with more then half a billion hectares of forest, has an outspoken and strong need for strategic information on its forestry resources in order to elaborate effective national policies and evaluate their outcomes. However, despite its strong forestry vocation, Brazil still lacks a functional mechanism to generate needed information. The latest and only nationwide forest inventory in Brazil was conducted in the early 1980’s and the information requirements have since then continuously increased and evolved.

The Brazilian Ministry of Environment has initiated in 2005 the process to establish a national-wide forest monitoring system based on national forest inventories including systematic field data collection and remote sensing surveys. The Brazilian Forest Service (Serviço Florestal Brasileiro, SFB), created in 2006, is responsible for organizing and implementing the Brazilian National Forest Inventory (NFI). The field inventory will be carried out along a systematic sample grid of clustered plots every 0,18 degrees (10,8 minutes) latitude and longitude, which corresponds to a distance of 20km by 20km at the equator.

In 2005 a multi-institutional Technical Committee (CT-IFN/BR) was formed by Brazilian and international specialists from governmental institutions, research stations, universities and the civil society to initiate the development of a Brazilian NFI based on systematic sampling for field data collection and remotely sensed landscape mapping. SFB has since then run a testing programme to organize pilot field tests of the methodology in different parts of the country in order to validate and improve its applicability in the country’s great variety of ecosystems and biomes (Amazônia, Caatinga, Cerrado, Mata Atlântica, Pampa and Pantanal.




Collaboration between Brazil Forestry Service and FAO NFMA Programme

In January 2008 FAO initiated a TCP project TCP/BRA/3103 "TCP - Establishing Methodological Basis and Building Partnerships for Brazil’s National Forest Resources Inventory " to provide technical assistance to SFB in the methodological development and testing of the NFI methodology for field sampling and landscape mapping. The technical assistance was provided by FAO officers together with an external NFI expert (TCDC) to share the knowledge gained while assisting several countries collaborating with FAO to realise their national forest inventories. As a result of the NFI preparatory process, methodological refinements and testing were carried out in all Brazilian biomes. NFI workshops were then arranged in Brazil to evaluate the experience gained and to consult national as well as international experts on the conclusions drawn from the field testing of inventory methodologies.

FAO / GEF - Strengthening National Policy and Knowledge Framework in Support of Sustainable Management of Brazil´s Forest Resources

The project, launched in 2011, aims at supporting decision making by stakeholders through the provision of credible, timely and relevant information and policy analysis about:

  • the state and dynamics of Brazil’s forests;
  • natural resources management, with emphasis on forest resources (including tree biodiversity), land cover, use, and changes;
  • opportunities for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in sector policies and investments;
  • role of and factors affecting forest and forest land contributions to poverty reduction and livelihoods improvement;
  • biodiversity conservation in protected areas as well as in land use decision making;
  • forest carbon stocks and flows and potentials for reduction of emissions through better use of forest resources and lands; and
  • land degradation in forest landscape and potentials for reduction.

The information is collected and analyzed through the establishment of a National Forest Monitoring and Assessment System (NFM&AS) as a programmatic activity in the Brazilian Forest Service continuing after the end of the project. By providing different analysis of the collected data, including a baseline and periodically monitored forest resource indicators, the project will enhance the capacity of the Government of Brazil (GoB) to recognize and reduce environmental threats by adjusting policies, strategies, and interventions and demonstrate their effectiveness. Private sector and other nongovernmental decision makers will also be able to take more informed decisions which, given the appropriate policy incentives, can increase the attractiveness of forest land use, mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in production activities, and increasing and conserving carbon stocks in the forest biomass.

The five year project is co-funded by GEF, FAO and the Government of Brazil. The Brazilian Forest Service, within the Ministry of Environment, is the primary executive partner. The project has been structured into four components:

  1. national framework for forest resource monitoring, assessment and strategic decision making;
  2. capacity building for the management of the NFM&AS;
  3. baseline and monitoring and information system establishment; and
  4. policies to enhance the contribution of SFM to national sustainable development and global environmental benefits.

For more information visit the web site of the Serviço Florestal Brasileiro (SFB)


National Forest Assessment Documents

Methodology and Approach

 Forest biomes and Systematic grid of field sample points



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last updated:  Wednesday, December 6, 2017