FRA 2010 NEWS 10              


Welcome to the tenth issue of the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 E-Newsletter, the FRA 2010 News.

In this issue, you will find updates on the FRA 2010 reporting process, remote sensing survey and special studies. There are also important updates on the forest product statistics, on forest- related meetings, publications and news regarding the staff of the FRA secretariat.


  1. The FRA 2010 Main Report now available in six languages
  2. The 10th meeting of the FRA Advisory Group
  3. The remote sensing survey
  4. Special studies
  5. Forest product statistics
  6. Updating of FAO website on country pages - third call for inputs!
  7. Meetings
  8. Publications
  9. New coordinator for FRA 2015 and other staffing news

1. The FRA 2010 Main Report now available in six languages

The FRA 2010 Main Report was released and distributed in English at the occasion of the 20th session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO) and World Forest Week in Rome, last October. The Main Report and the 20 global tables in excel format are available for download in English, French,  Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese together with the 233 country reports and the FRA 2010 poster of contributors at our website:

A  CD-Rom containing the complete set of global tables, the Key Findings, the Main Report in all six languages, the 233 country reports, a set of maps and figures and relevant power point presentations, is also being prepared. To obtain a copy of the CD please write to: [email protected].

At the same time we have started making plans for FRA 2015 and beyond. To help us do so we have established a new Advisory Group for FRA 2015, retaining many of the members of the FRA 2010 Advisory Group but also allowing room for new skills and expertise and a rotation of some of the National Correspondents, allowing more people to be more closely involved in the process (see next item).

2.The 10th meeting of the FRA Advisory Group  

The tenth meeting of the FAO Advisory Group (AG) on Global Forest Resources Assessments took place in Rome last October. The meeting had the following main objectives: 

• Review progress on the implementation of FRA 2010 and lessons learned to date;
• review outcomes of COFO 2010;
• provide guidance on post FRA 2010 activities;
• review the composition and working modality of the FRA Advisory Group.

We would like to thank the outgoing members for the support provided to the FRA process over the last many years, and to welcome the new members of the FRA 2015 Advisory Group. Minutes from the meeting can be downloaded at:

3. The remote sensing survey

The FRA Remote Sensing Survey team, in partnership with the EC Joint Research Centre, have completed 3 additional land cover and land use training/validation workshops since early October.

1. Beijing, China for participants from East Asia including China, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea.
2. Valdivia, Chile for participants from South America including Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
3. Nairobi, Kenya for participants from East Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Somalia and Sudan.

Participants from South America take part in the RSS training / validation workshop in Valdivia, Chile

As part of the FRA 2010 Remote Sensing Survey, an updated map of global percent tree cover circa 2005 has been produced by the Geographic Information Science Center at South Dakota State University.  The map, and accompanying digital dataset, is created using satellite data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, sensor and has a pixel size of 250 meters. This is a significant improvement in spatial resolution over a similar map published as part of FRA 2005.

Scientific reference for the global percent tree cover map is best located in the following peer-reviewed publication: Hansen, M., R.S. DeFries, J.R.G. Townshend, M. Carroll, C. Dimiceli, and R.A. Sohlberg (2003), "Global Percent Tree Cover at a Spatial Resolution of 500 Meters: First Results of the MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields Algorithm", Earth Interactions, Vol 7, No 10, pp 1-15.

4. Special studies 

Forest Degradation
Draft guidelines for reporting on forest degradation are currently being prepared and will be available for comments in January on the website: It is anticipated that a final document would be available by March 2011. Criteria (and associated indicators) that have been incorporated at this stage include:

  • Biological diversity
  • Forest health
  • Forest goods and services
  • Biomass
  • Soil

A side event on “Improving monitoring and reporting on forest degradation” was held in the Rio Conventions' Ecosystems and Climate Change Pavilion, during CBD COP 10, in Nagoya, Japan on Thursday 21 October.  The presentations from the side event can be found at the following link:

FRA Special study on Trees Outside Forest: Call for Contribution
FAO and partner organizations are preparing a thematic report on Trees Outside Forest (TOF)[i] that will be made available in April 2011. This thematic report will prepare the road towards FRA 2015 and will be further discussed during the next FRA Expert Consultation meeting (Kotka VI), expected to be held in 2012.

The “Institut de Recherche pour le Développement” (IRD, France) is assisting FAO in preparing the thematic report on TOF, in collaboration with other partner institutions including ICRAF and CATIE. The thematic report will comprise the following parts: (i) Context and justification; (ii) Review of past and current TOF assessments; (iii) TOF Typology, variables and methods: options for national TOF assessments; (iv) Conclusions and recommendations; (v) Annex 1: Country and Thematic Case Studies; (vi) Annex 2: Technical Guidelines for TOF national reporting to Global FRA.

In addition to the thematic report, CATIE is assisting FAO in preparing a database of documents on assessments of trees outside forests (virtual library) that will be made available on FAO’s homepage and regularly updated. 

We need your contribution
We invite countries and institutions to support the “Review of past and current TOF assessments”, and send all available documents on inventories or assessments (data and methodology) reporting on the extent of TOF. The tree systems considered are:

-          Orchards and non forest (or agricultural/horticultural) tree plantations
            (e.g. fruit trees,    palm trees, coconut trees, nut trees)
-          Tree crop plantations under tree canopy/shade trees (e.g. cocoa, coffee).
-          Tree-based home gardens
-          Tree lines along rivers; along roads
-          Trees forming windbreaks, shelterbelts, hedgerows
-          Scattered trees in croplands and in pasture land
-          Other agroforestry systems (e.g. alley cropping, agroforestry parkland, agroforests)
-          Trees in urban areas (e.g. parks, streets, gardens, agroforestry systems) 

We encourage you to forward this request to those who may be concerned in institutions in all relevant sectors (e.g. agriculture, environment, urban development, national statistics). Documents received by the end of January 2011 will be considered in the global analysis for the thematic report. All relevant documents received will be compiled in the virtual library.

We thank you in advance for sending the information directly to the Study Coordinator: Hubert de Foresta [email protected]  with copy to Michelle Gauthier [email protected]. Should you need more information on this activity, please do not hesitate to contact the coordinators.

[1] According to FAO, Trees outside forests are those trees that are not included into “Forest” nor “Other Wooded Land”. In general and for simplification, “Trees outside Forest” can be divided into the following categories:

  • Small, isolated tree/shrub stands (similar to “Forest” or to “Other Wooded Land” but with an area covering less than 0.5 ha), on land that is not under agricultural nor under urban use; trees may have been planted or not (small woods, small woodlots);
  • Scattered trees (less than 5% cover), whatever the area they cover, on land that is not under agricultural nor under urban use;
  • Trees on land that is predominantly under agricultural use, whatever the size and shape of the stands;

5. Forest products statistics

6. Updating of FAO website on country pages- third call for inpu

We are still seeking your assistance for the updating and restructuring of the country briefs section of the FAO website, particularly for the vegetation descriptions and forest types by country. Please check the FAO website: and send to [email protected], any material (photos and/or text) that could be useful to fill existing gaps and improve the current vegetation descriptions by country and/or a link to where we may be able to find this information in English, French or Spanish.

7. Meetings

Ninth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF9) – International Year of Forests (IYF 2011)
The Ninth session of the UNFF (UNFF 9) will be held at the UNFF Headquarters, in New York, USA, from 24 January to 4 February, 2011. For more information:

26th Session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council Global Ministerial Environment Forum
The 26th session of the UNEP Governing Council Global Ministerial Environment Forum will be held in Nairobi, Kenya February 21 – 25. For more information:

Second Preparatory Committees for UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)
The UN General Assembly, in December 2009, adopted a resolution calling for a UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) to be convened in Brazil in 2012 (also referred to as Rio+20). The resolution established the dates for the preparatory committees leading to the event, and indicates the event should be focused on: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.  The second Preparatory Committees for NCSD will take place at the United Nations Headquarters, on 7-8 March 2011. More info at:

Symposium on Ecosystem and Landscape-Level Approaches to Sustainability
The “Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Medio Rural y Marino” of Spain, the Regional Government of Castilla y León, Spain, the International Model Forest Network Secretariat, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity are jointly organizing the International Symposium on Ecosystem and Landscape-level Approaches to Sustainability. The symposium will be held in Spain, Burgos from 22-24 March 2011. To know more about this event:

Second Mediterranean Forest Week
The Mediterranean Forests Week will bring together the forest research community and relevant stakeholders (policy-makers, managers, forest owners’ representatives, NGO’s, etc) to improve the science-policy dialogue. The II Mediterranean Forest Week will be held in Avignon, France from 5-8 April 2011. More information on this event: 

8. Publications

The FRA 2010 Main report is available for download in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian at:

Copies of the English version have been sent out to all English-speaking contributors to FRA 2010. If you have not yet received your copy, please contact: [email protected]

Copies in French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese will be distributed shortly.

9. New coordinator of FRA 2015 and other staffing news

Congratulations to Ken MacDicken who has been appointed as the FRA 2015 Coordinator.
Ken will enter on duty on February 28, 2011.


Congratulations to Örjan Jonsson, promoted to the position of coordinator of the FRA country reporting process, the position previously held by Lars Gunnar Marklund.


Congratulations (and “arrivederci” from the FRA staff!) to Hivy Ortiz Chour who has left her position as Forestry Officer in the Global Forest Resources Assessment Programme to move to a new position as Forestry Officer in the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile. Hivy’s former post will soon been advertised and those interested can find more information about procedures for the application at:



last updated:  Monday, January 17, 2011