FRA 2010 NEWS 02


We are happy to present the second issue of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 E-Newsletter, the FRA 2010 News. With this newsletter we aim to connect all FRA national and international partners and other resource assessment professionals and to bring you the latest FRA 2010 - related information. All issues of the FRA 2010 News are posted online at:

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In this issue you will find information on the progress of the different components of FRA 2010,  on the forest products statistics and on national forest monitoring and assessment systems. It also provides information on upcoming FRA workshops and meetings and on some of the recent publications related to FRA.


  1. The FRA 2010 Country reporting process
  2. FRA 2010 regional workshops
  3. National Correspondent Network
  4. The Remote Sensing Survey
  5. Special Studies
  6. Forest products statistics
  7. National forest monitoring and assessment (NFMA) systems
  8. Publications

1. The FRA 2010 Country reporting process

Reporting to FRA 2010 is proceeding well.  We have received more than 40 draft national reports to date and many more are underway.  National correspondents who still have not submitted their first draft report are kindly requested to submit a first draft (at least of the key tables) before attending the regional workshops. The deadline for the final draft is end of March 2009, but we strongly recommend that final draft reports are submitted well in advance of that date in order to allow enough time for feedback and comments and to ensure that the final report is ready by the end of May 2009.

We are also pleased to announce that we have received 500 000 € from Finland which will allow us to carry out the regional workshops and capacity building on country reporting as originally planned.  For further information on the country reporting process, see our Website or contact [email protected].

2. FRA 2010 regional workshops

During the last quarter of 2008, nine regional workshops will be carried out in order to review draft country reports and to discuss and clarify issues related to the reporting methodology and the reporting tables. These workshops are important in order to strengthen the capacity of the national correspondent network and thereby ensure that the country reports will reach the best possible quality standards.

The following table shows the dates and venues for the regional workshops. If you have any questions or wish to get more information, please get in touch with the contact person for each of these.




Contact person

Anglophone Africa

7-9 October


[email protected]

Near East

13-16 October


[email protected]


13-16 October

Kuala Lumpur

[email protected]

Spanish-speaking Latin America
and the Caribbean

28-30 October


[email protected]

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

3-5 November


[email protected]

Central Africa

10-12 November


[email protected]


17-21 November


[email protected]

English-speaking Latin America
and the Caribbean

2-4 December

Saint Lucia

[email protected]

Francophone Africa

10-12 December


[email protected]

3. National Correspondent network

We now have national correspondents in 177 countries and we extend a special welcome to Jordan which is our most recent newcomer as well as to those new national correspondents and alternates who have replaced colleagues who have moved on to other positions.

If you are aware of any changes of national correspondents and/or alternates that have still not been communicated to FAO, please send an email to  [email protected] and ask your authorities to proceed with a new official nomination. 

For further information and details on the national correspondent network, see

4. Remote sensing survey

The preparations for the FRA 2010 Remote sensing survey (RSS) are also advancing well. Funding is now confirmed with The European Commission contributing 3.6 million € and Australia 100,000 US$. A brochure has recently been prepared that outlines the RSS and is available to download from

We have invited 22 countries to participate in a pilot study to test the methodology for the RSS and more than half of these have now nominated national focal points. We still need to hear from the remaining pilot countries and will be contacting them over the coming weeks to confirm. Other countries that are not part of the pilot study will be involved in 2009 when the Survey gets fully underway. If you want more information, see the draft report of the Task Force meeting which is available (in English only) at or contact [email protected].

FAO has engaged specialist computer programmers to develop image processing software that will be freely available for countries to use in 2009and the work on a Web portal for easy access and download of satellite image sample tiles has also progressed.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA have been working hard to re-process millions of Landsat images globally to improve the geo-rectification and prepare the images to a standard recipe to make the global dataset higher quality and more consistent. This is a huge task and has taken longer than expected, the latest information indicate that the global land cover datasets (GLS) for 2000 will be available by the end of October, and GLS2005 is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008.

Meanwhile, there are a few things that countries could start doing in order to prepare for the RSS in 2009, such as:

  • Identify a National Focal Point to the FRA RSS. This should be a person with remote sensing experience who can coordinate other relevant national agencies. This person can be but does not have to be the same as the FRA National Correspondent. If the FRA NC has remote sensing skills and experience then he can do both but we are also happy to consider nominations from other suitably qualified people. A request to nominate a focal point will be sent out shortly.
  • Start compiling their national forest spatial data, and any imagery or other ancillary data that will be useful to compare with the RSS data.

For specific questions on the RSS please contact [email protected].

5. Special studies

We have recently initiated a special study on forest degradation and will be in touch with you shortly to obtain information on the definitions and methodologies used for assessing and monitoring forest degradation and degraded forests. As part of the preparatory activities FAO is participating in the Informal Meeting of Experts on Methodological Issues relating to Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation in Developing Countries which took place from 20 to 21 October 2008 in Bonn, Germany.

Contact person for this study is Ms. Mette Loyche Wilkie.

6. Forest products statistics

The FAO Yearbook of Forest Products is a compilation of statistical data on basic forest products for all countries and territories of the world and the 60th edition has recently been published (see under Publications below). It contains series of annual data on the volume of production and consumption and the volume and value of trade in forest products. It includes tables showing direction of trade and average unit values of trade for certain products. Statistical information in the yearbook is based primarily on data provided by countries to FAO and partner organizations through the Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (JFSQ) or official publications. In the absence of official data, FAO makes estimates based on the best information available.

The forest products statistics database with detailed information on production and trade of forest products is available at: If you need further information related to the forest products statistics, please contact [email protected].

7. National forest monitoring and assessment (NFMA) systems

In many countries, forestry information is outdated, partial or subjective, and in most cases the precision and accuracy of the data are unknown. Upon request, FAO supports countries in their efforts to close this knowledge gap by implementing systematic field inventories and establishing comprehensive datasets on forests, trees outside forest and land-uses. The national forest monitoring and assessment (NFMA) programme of FAO has been active since 2000 in a growing number of countries (15 countries from all regions). The main objectives of the NMFA include strengthening the ability of countries to update, expand and manage their information base on forests, trees outside forests and land uses to facilitate policy dialogue, preparation of forestry and land-use strategies, formulation of national forest programmes and national reporting to the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) as well as to UN Conventions (UNFCCC, UNCCD, CBD) and other international processes such as the UNFF. The approach to NFMA is comprehensive: it covers all forest and tree resources not only on forest lands but also trees outside forests, and allows generating a wide range of reliable information and knowledge on the social, economic and environmental benefits of forests and trees. The importance of NFMA approaches is recognized in strengthening country capacity for carbon accounting and in reducing deforestation and forest degradation (REDD readiness), using combined ground based inventory and survey techniques, that supplement and complement remote sensing methodologies.

More information on the NFMA programme is available at

8. Publications

The 60th edition of FAO Yearbook of Forest Products 2002-2006 has been released recently. The publication has been released regularly and timely since 1947. The publication is available at:
The FRA 2010 brochure is now available for download in all official FAO languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) from the FRA website.
A brochure on the FRA 2010 Remote sensing survey has been prepared is available at the FRA Website at
The Natural Inquirer is an educational material elaborated in collaboration with the US Forest Service. It is available for download in English and Czech and is currently being translated into Spanish. If anyone is interested and has the funds to translate it into other languages, please contact [email protected].  

If you wish to obtain hard copies of any of the publications above or the brochures for distribution at meetings, please contact [email protected].

last updated:  Thursday, December 4, 2008