FRA 2010 NEWS 04


We are pleased to present the fourth 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 forest resource assessment professionals and to bring you the latest FRA 2010 - related information. All issues of the FRA 2010 News are posted online at:

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 the workshops and meetings related to FRA.


1. News

2. The FRA 2010 Country reporting process

3. FRA at COFO and the World Forest Week 

4. The 8th meeting of the FRA Advisory group

5. The Remote Sensing Survey

6. Special Studies

7. Forest products statistics

8. Meetings

9. Publications


1. News

In March 2009, Finland and FAO signed a €14 million partnership agreement to improve forest data collection and analysis as well as management skills in selected developing countries for sustainable forest management.

The aim of this four-year Finland/FAO forestry programme is to help developing country governments protect their forest resources, build sustainable forest livelihoods and provide governments with the knowledge to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The FRA programme will receive a small portion of these funds for capacity building activities, in support of selected FRA 2010 special studies and to help develop a long-term strategy for the programme.

An Associate Professional Officer (APO), will soon join the FRA team as part of support from France to the FRA 2010 Remote Sensing Survey.

2. The FRA 2010 Country reporting process

The deadline for the submission of the FRA 2010 draft Country Reports was the end of March 2009.

To date we have a total of 187 reports. Of these, 43 have been finalized and 144 are drafts that are being reviewed. We would like to thank all those National Correspondents who submitted their draft report in time.

We have still not received any report from more that 46 countries and territories and since we have tight deadlines for the delivery of the FRA 2010 results, we urge the remaining National Correspondents to please submit their draft report as soon as possible.

The next important step of the FRA 2010 Country Reporting Process is the submission of the final draft reports. The established deadline for the submission of the final drafts is the end of May 2009.

3. FRA at COFO and the World Forest Week 

The nineteenth session of the FAO's Committee on Forestry (COFO) convened from 16-20 March 2009 at FAO headquarters in Rome. The meeting attracted over 550 participants from COFO member states, including heads of forestry departments, UN agencies, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

In parallel to the meeting and throughout the week, many special events were held as part of "World Forest Week."

These events included, among others, the "FRA reporting on sustainable forest management and climate change" which took place on Tuesday 16 of March. The FRA side event was focused on the role forests play in climate change, on how FAO and its partners support countries to improve their capacity to provide reliable information on climate change and on sustainable forest management and particularly on what information is currently being collected for the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010.

The side event, attended by more than 100 participants, provided an overview of the process and of the scope of the FRA 2010 country reporting process, particularly focusing on its relevance for climate change and carbon stock assessments, on how countries are reporting on progress towards sustainable forest management and on how this information can be synthesized at the regional and global levels. The global remote sensing survey and the special study on forest degradation were also introduced to the participants. Dennis Garrity, Director-General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), underscored the importance of agroforestry trees and called for action to reduce emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land uses.

To view the presentations made at this event please see:
For more information related to COFO please see:  and the Earth Negotiation Bulletin available online at:

4. The 8th meeting of the FRA Advisory group

The eighth meeting of the FAO Advisory Group (AG) on Global Forest Resources Assessments took place in Rome the 18th of March 2009.

The meeting had the following main objectives: 

  • To review progress and provide guidance on the implementation of FRA 2010;
  • To provide guidance on the auto-evaluation of the FRA programme and the development of a post-FRA 2010 strategy;
  • To review the composition and working modality of the FRA Advisory Group.

To learn more about the meeting (agenda, participants, minutes) see:   

5. The Remote sensing survey 

Remote Sensing Survey workshop held in Rome from March 30 to April 3, 2009

Twenty-five participants from 21 countries attended the workshop as part of the Pilot Study to test the methodology for the FRA Remote Sensing Survey.

The workshop provided an overview of FRA 2010 Remote Sensing Survey methods and work of partner organisations. Countries in the Pilot study are being asked to process some test areas and provide feedback to FAO on the methods and systems to help refine the process before wider implementation. Three days training in the FAO computer lab was provided to learn how to use the remote sensing processing software for viewing and labelling the imagery. Other countries will be involved in similar training in regional workshops to be held after July 2009.Participants learning to label Landsat images using FAO software

Over 13,000 Landsat samples now on-line for viewing and downloading

The FRA Remote Sensing Survey website has a Landsat database that now has been loaded with 10km square images from 1990, 2000 and 2005 for all the 1 degree sample locations - that's over 13,000 points around the world! ( 
These will be progressively processed and labelled with draft tree-cover classes and provided to countries for validation after July 2009.

6. Special studies

Forest degradation

Wanted: Case Studies

Help is needed in identifying suitable case studies which describe proven or promising methodologies and tools for assessing different aspects of forest degradation. Case studies should describe methodologies that are already in use, and that would require relatively little work to develop and write up.

How you can help:

1. Circulate a call for abstracts to your colleagues and networks of contacts.
    See guidelines at:
2. Provide us with the contact details of potential authors
3. Provide us with examples of existing case studies
4. Suggest specific topics to be included

Based on responses, we will select 20 or more case studies. Authors of these will be invited to present them at a Technical Meeting in Rome in September 2009 and possibly at the World Forestry Congress (WFC) in Argentina in October 2009. 

Case study abstracts, suggestions of authors or topics and/or existing case studies should be sent to [email protected].

For further information:

7. Forest products statistics 

FAO and UNECE held a Workshop on Forest Products Statistics for CIS-region National Statistical Correspondents in Moscow, Russian Federation on 16-19 February 2009.

The workshop resulted in the following outcomes:

  • nine CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan);
  • better understanding of the process of data collection through the annual Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire;
  • strengthened country capacity in reporting on forest products statistics;
  • better understanding of the status and constraints in obtaining national and regional forestry statistics;
  • agreement on enhanced cooperation among the participating countries and international organizations (FAO and UNECE) through an effective network;
  • verification and updating of historic statistical series of FAO and UNECE.

Workshop proceedings in English and Russian languages will be published and made available online shortly.

8. Meetings


The eighth session of the UN Forum on Forest will take place from the 20 April to 1 May 2009 in New York. (


The XIII World Forestry Congress will be held from 18 to 25 October 2009 in the city of Buenos Aires and its theme will be "Forests in development: a vital balance."

The period for abstract submission has ended. The XIII WFC General Secretariat thankfully acknowledges the participation of the whole forestry community through the submission of abstracts. Due to the more than 3 000 abstracts received, the Secretariat is compelled to extend the date of communication of the evaluation results to authors up to April 15th.

To find out more:

9. Publications

Three United Nations organizations, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Forum on Forests joined efforts to analyze, synthesize and illustrate key topical forest issues to help communicate the value of forests to policy makers and the wider public in this publication called "Vital Forest Graphics."

Authors from around the world provided text and case studies for this publication which is currently in print. All subscribers to the FRA 2010 Newsletter will receive a copy. We regret that it is currently only available in English.

The "Global Review of Forest and Pest diseases", one of the thematic studies prepared in the framework of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005 has been published.

This publication represents a rare effort to address forest pests and diseases comprehensively at the global level and it can be downloaded from:

last updated:  Friday, May 8, 2009